Combining the immunity hearing with the trial in the Zimmerman case is a terrible idea

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Several of you, including Xena, Southern Girl and Towerflower, have asked me to comment on the possibility of combining an immunity hearing with the trial. I do not believe that is a workable solution because it would violate the defendant’s right to remain silent and the presumption of innocence.

Let us use the defendant’s case as an example.

In a typical immunity hearing, a defendant has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely so than not so) that he acted in self-defense. He puts on his case first, since he has the burden of proof, and the prosecution goes second. If the judge concludes that he satisfied his burden, she will enter an order granting him immunity from civil suit and dismiss the criminal case.

A defendant is not required to testify at the immunity hearing, but if he testifies, and most will since they have the burden of proof, he does not waive his right to remain silent at a subsequent trial, if the judge denies his motion for immunity.

If the hearings are combined in GZ’s case, the prosecution will go first because it has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he did not kill Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

Let us suppose for the sake of argument that the defense manages to poke some holes in the prosecution’s case such that the defendant and his lawyers are pretty confident about winning the trial without putting on a defense. They do not believe the defendant needs to testify and he does not want to testify.

The defense moves for a judgment of acquittal and for an order granting immunity.

For the purpose of the criminal case and ruling on the motion for a judgment of acquittal, the judge would be required to decide whether a rational trier of fact could find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was guilty based on the evidence introduced during the prosecution’s case. Let us further suppose that the judge decides that a rational trier of fact could convict the defendant and denies the motion for a judgment of acquittal.

For the purpose of ruling on the immunity issue, the judge would be required to decide whether the defense had met its burden to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he had acted in self-defense. There is little likelihood that the judge would grant the motion because the defense has not put on its case and the defendant has not testified. Therefore, the judge would deny the motion.

Now what happens?

If this were “just” a trial, the defense would rest without introducing any evidence or putting the defendant on the stand to testify. I won about 80% of my trials by employing this strategy, including some self-defense cases by relying on the presumption of innocence and arguing reasonable doubt.

The defense cannot use that strategy, however, if it wants a shot at immunity. Since it has the burden of proof, it must put on a case and the defendant has to testify.

Do you all see the problem now?

The defendant has to give up his right to remain silent to have a shot at immunity, but if he testifies, he risks not only losing the motion for immunity, he also risks being convicted by the jury, if the jury does not believe him.

In other words, in order to exercise his statutory right to an immunity hearing, he is forced to give up his right to remain silent and be presumed innocent in the criminal case.

Notice that combining an immunity hearing with the trial only hurts a defendant.

There is a very long line of SCOTUS cases that prohibit forcing a defendant to give up one constitutional right to exercise another.

That is the problem with combining a pretrial immunity hearing with a trial.

It is also the reason why pretrial suppression hearings in criminal cases are not combined with trials.

I realize that this procedure has been followed in other cases in Florida, and Judge Nelson could decide to follow it in GZ’s case, but I think she would be unwise to do so.

For example, if the defendant were to testify, the jury found him guilty, and Judge Nelson denied his motion for immunity, you can bet that he will claim that he was forced to waive the presumption of innocence and his right to remain silent in order to exercise his statutory right to an immunity hearing and that his lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel by waiving his right to a pretrial immunity hearing.

I believe that the case will be reversed and remanded for a new trial, if the scenario that I have described takes place.

The scenario is not far fetched.

Frankly, I am shocked that defense counsel would even consider combining the immunity hearing with the trial. Either they are incompetent or simply using this idea as a smokescreen to conceal that they know they have no case.

They may be unwilling to admit publicly that they do not really intend to pursue the request for an immunity hearing during the trial for the simple reason that they fear financial contributions to the defense would wither away to nothing.

I regard that as theft by misrepresentation.

GZ’s supporters should be screaming bloody murder about this latest turn of events.

Instead, his supporters, including some criminal defense lawyers who should know better, are calling yesterday’s decision a victory for the defense.

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378 Responses to Combining the immunity hearing with the trial in the Zimmerman case is a terrible idea

  1. ay2z says:

    Posting this today, Friday, for those who would like to enjoy it (Knofler fans and everyone who might enjoy this hour of non-stop Mark)

    • fauxmccoy says:

      i almost posted this myself – but didn’t know if anyone would want an hour of knopfler except for us die hard fans. this is probably my favorite video on youtube. 🙂

      • ay2z says:

        Faux, didn’t see your comments until now! Came over to this thread to re-read the article and came across your notes. Interesting about this journalist. Thanks.

    • fauxmccoy says:

      interesting mark fact — before devoting his life to music and quitting his ‘day job’ he was a journalist. the last article he wrote was an obit for jimi hendrix.

    • ay2z says:

      Jeff Weiner twittered that the defense did not waive rights to an immunity hearing and it could be done at trial. Richard Hornsby, the legal analyst for one of the channels, said he doesn’t necessarily agree but didn’t expound).

      Maybe someone who uses Twitter, can send a tweet to Jeff over at the OS with a link to Prof’s article. Not that they would use it but maybe plant a eseed or two of objectivity in their statements rather than being MOM spoon fed because that’s all they see out there.

  2. Lonnie Starr says:

    Hasn’t the judge already ruled that any immunity hearing will have to be at least 45 days before trial? My guess is that if they do not advantage themselves of the time set aside for this immunity hearing, they will have waived their right, if not overtly then by default.

    • racerrodig says:

      Bingo. The law states they are 2 different events. The judge ruled, now it’s a court order that 45 prior as a minimum for the Immunity hearing

      I’d say O’ Mara is thinking he can’t win. can’t let the Zidiot Nation know that, can’t let them know the damage a hearing will cause in the long run and makes them believe he’s broken new legal ground with this smoke and mirror show\, which will produce nothing but great gnashing of teeth……not to mention FogenPhoole topping the 350 mark.

    • racerrodig says:

      My grandfather used that term all the time……as did Moe of the 3 Stooges as I recall.

      It does fit PhatFogenPhoole top a T….not at the T, because he wasn’t at the T but you know what I mean.

  3. NEF05 says:

    Sortof OT: Can anyone point me to a tutorial to snip and juxtapose audio and/or video, and upload to youtube? Or Papa, if you happen to hae a free minute to spare, I kow you’d do a much better job + you already know where to find all the evidence. I didn’t wish to impose though, and I’d be happy to learn. Here are some of my ideas.

    I’d like to juxtapose Singleton’s comments in the 2/29 interview, where she’s told he was just looking for a street sign, then same interview(later) – she calls him out when she hears him running on tape.

    *Don’t get me started on the fact that in order for his story to be plausible he had to forget TWO out of three streets, the one he was on AND the one he lived on where he went to go “find a street sign”. Anyone here have a problem knowing the name of your own street and need to go find a sign, when it’s only one block over? Me neither. *

    I’d like to juxtapose the “wristlock” and “pinning. Either the pinning/wristlock both happened immediately prior to gun draw with one hand (which is impossible), or two hands which requires a 3rd hand to draw and shoot. Either way…. either way!

    I’d like to juxtapose the three reasons he “allegedly” left his car; along with the NEN representative portion:
    1 Looking or a street sign
    2. Looking for an never asked for address.
    3. Going to meet a previously called policeman(Hannity Interview), who was NOT mentioned on the NEN call. (Sorry, I just think that’s ofc. Smith)

    I’d like to juxtapose DD’s statement: “What are you doing here?” to witness 11’s (per the most excellent Malisha) “What are you doing… What are you…” to Taaffe’s (as representative of knowledge of the night’s events), “He’d confront him and ask “What is your business here”. I realise you did something similar the frst night Malisha connected the dots, and I think Taaffe makes it stronger. He’s a friend of the defense and “allegedly” has no reason to lie. He seems to represent having received information from that night from fogen. Substantively, his story corroborates the other two witnesses. There is no colloquial difference between the two questions.

    I’d like to juxtapose him claiming he forgot he had his gun, with the portion he stated about reaching for the waistband and the 1st bond hearing about armed/unarmed, and claimed to carry everywhere but work. CLEARLY the thought crossed his mind, frequently.

    I’d like to juxtapose him saying he didn’t know he shot him, with “draw, aimed…. fired”, telling his neighbor immediately after the shooting, before death was pronounced “tell my wife I shot someone”.

    That ought to get me started. Anyone know of a link to a site where I can learn? I’d very much appreciate it.

    • willisnewton says:

      It’s called you tube. Or RTFM. good luck tho, and look forward to your results.

      Sorry to be sarcastic but what you are talking about is commonly known as “non-linear editing.” It’s a broad topic. Try the library.

  4. colin black says:

    willisnewton says:

    March 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    here’s another baseball analogy:

    The distance from where GZ claims he was struck to the spot where the shell casing was found (underneath the body) is the distance from home plate to the base of the pitcher’s mound in major league baseball.

    Imagine a batter, struck by the pitcher with the ball somehow “stumbling” all the way to the mound, and that is how ludicrous GZ’s claim sounds. Imagine also that the catcher suddenly is overwhelmed with the desire to KILL the stunned batter, yet can’t manage to catch him until they both reach the mound. That’s a seriously slow catcher, especially since the way george tells it the catcher was ALREADY in front of the batter.

    In his “re-enactment” (re-imagining is more like it) he moved less than HALF the distance to where the body was found.

    And yes, in all of his statements to SPD and ALSO in his written statement he claims he was struck to the ground by the initial blow and “mounted.” It’s only when taken to the scene that he gives his half-hearted excuse of “stumbling” some 40 feet south. It’s also worth noting that he omits doing anything with his hands except draw his gun and fire. Imagine you were struck in the face and had to stumble to the pitcher’s mound – what the heck was the teenager supposedly doing this whole time? If he had such “murderous intent” and his quarry was dazed, reeling and drunk-walking all that way, why didn’t the teen continue to rain blows upon him, or trip him, or whatever?

    Also keep in mind the staging/ blocking of movements according to GZ during the “re-enactment” includes the idea that after being struck in the face, George stumbled forward passing the exact spot where his “aggressor” was standing. I suppose TM stepped aside to let him pass like a regular gentleman? “Let the better man stumble past, please.” “You first, good chap, I’ll just wait until you finish your impersonation of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks before I do anything else.”

    Reply

    Im a Scot so dont realy undersland baseball except Futureamas version.
    However I would suggest your anoligy is also moot.
    Because although I admitt I havent watched a lot of the sport .
    The little I have seen at no point do I remember the batter?.Whilst running for base.
    Also performing what looks like someone attempting to swim a one armed doogie paddle stroke on dry land.

    To me this would some what hinder the batters speed an more than likely get him run out after fourd weid steps.
    PS
    I realy liked your post an wasnt critizeing it the only things moot is foggens 4 suits.
    Before the story got oot
    Off the wee Child he did shoot.
    An all the loot he thought was his so he took.

    And now he found oot his only baker are kooks
    Even his bro only blows his own toot an is on the oot
    Just as he cant even refrain from inserting his own foot in his mouth.
    TThings happen when you refrain to engage the brain.

    An just like those four suits will always be moot.
    Never again will they cover your obese frame.
    Just as your attorney aclaimed theres some thing afoot.

    Sure is your clients a GALLOOT…

    PS EXCUSE THE SCOTS.

  5. colin black says:

    Comeon

    Lets cut foggen just a wee bit slack.
    After al at this momment in time has not had his right to a fair trial.
    Wich is written into your Wobdefull Countrys Constitution.
    And whent he uttered thease words.

    Stay down. Don’t move

    He may have thought Trayvon could have been a zombie.
    However his excuse or argument would be moot.As everyone knows zombies dont respond to or listen to commands

  6. Judge in George Zimmerman case signs subpoena for Trayvon’s Twitter, Facebook info.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-trayvon-twitter-facebook-20130306,0,822138.story

    The judge in the George Zimmerman murder case on Monday signed orders, directing Twitter and Facebook to release to defense attorneys all of Trayvon Martin’s posted comments, photos, videos and messages plus his list of Facebook friends.

    Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson did the same for the state’s most important witness, the young Miami woman who was on the phone with Trayvon moments before Zimmerman shot him.

    The subpoenas are no surprise. The judge agreed months ago to sign them after defense attorneys argued they were entitled to the information.

    They’re important because they could wind up producing key information about both Trayvon, a 17-year-old high school junior from Miami Gardens, and the young woman, his girlfriend.

    Trayvon had no history of arrests, according to Sanford police, but he was disciplined by Miami-Dade school officials, who one time found women’s jewelry in his backpack along with a burglary tool, according to the Miami Herald.

    There also have been hints about Trayvon’s marijuana use, and what he posted on Twitter and Facebook could reveal more about that.

    When he was killed, he was in the midst of a 10-day school suspension because officials had found an empty marijuana baggie in his backpack. In addition, autopsy tests revealed his blood contained a small amount of marijuana.

    The subpoena for his social media records asks that Twitter and Facebook produce information about him dating back to Jan. 1, 2011.

    That’s the same date in the subpoena for his girlfriend’s social media posts and information.

    • Malisha says:

      I presume they expect to find a New Year’s Resolution tweeted by Trayvon:

      “In 2012 I hope to be able to kill a white man and if not, then my second choice would be an Afro-Peruvian but only if he is obese.”

      • PYorck says:

        It sounds funny when you put it that way, but it would pretty much have to be something like that if it is supposed to be admissible.

    • towerflower says:

      Why do they need the friend list of both parties? If I was a parent and my child was a friend of either one I would be pissed.

  7. Breaking

    Zimmerman defense fund: We’ve taken in $54k since Jan. 1

    George Zimmerman’s defense team today reported that its recent fund-raising surge has generated nearly $54,000 in donations since January 1, allowing it to hire three experts for his upcoming trial.

    The defense team also reported that Zimmerman and his wife have spent nearly $12,000 on living and household expenses in that time.

    The new numbers were published on a website, created by Zimmerman, his lawyers and defense team.

    They relaunched the fund-raising effort and website Jan. 30, acknowledging that they had spent their way through more than $300,000 and were nearly broke.

    In addition, Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, had previously spent $60,000 in donations before defense attorney Mark O’Mara got involved in the fund in April.

    • KA says:

      I hope MOM is getting a lien against that money before trial. That is nothing to a murder trial.

      • KA says:

        Of course OS would cover it. They want to try to show that the majority of America is “behind” GZ.

      • kimmi says:

        “Second on the list was the Zimmermans’ nearly $12,000 in household expenses. That includes rent, payments on two vehicles, phones and food, said Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for defense attorney Mark O’Mara.”

        I thought they paid off their car loans and pre-paid their phones?
        Are they padding Fogens food expense?

      • kimmi says:

        Oops, meant hiding, not ‘padding’

      • Two sides to a story says:

        If they’re still paying $700 a week for security, that explains $5600 of it. Still, what’s the rest for? I live on less than $2k a month.

      • Lynn says:

        @kimmi

        “Second on the list was the Zimmermans’ nearly $12,000 in household expenses. That includes rent, payments on two vehicles, phones and food, said Shawn Vincent, a spokesman for defense attorney Mark O’Mara.”

        I thought they paid off their car loans and pre-paid their phones?
        Are they padding Fogens food expense?

        This old article broke down the figures for the first $60,000 they spent in the first 18 days (most of which he was in jail).
        http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/17/2900145/zimmerman-spent-35k-on-cell-phones.html

        I guess his wi-fi was paid for 2 years but his phones for only 1. After deducting the phone cost, the wi-fi, and the landline (which he put WHERE? seeing as how he had no house) that meant he spent 2100 for 1 year of phone service. My family plan w/ 3 phones with all the bells and whistles doesn’t come to that much. Not a smart shopper.

        It says he made car “payments” and doing the math, deducting his 800 for gas and 1500 for his rental car, meant he forked out 2078 for “payments”. This was an 18 day period. How much are his 2 vehicles worth?

        They must spend more on food than The Duggar family if you go by the old figures. $1300 on food plus 800 at the jail commissary. Geesh! And that was when he was a wee lad at 200lbs.

      • Lynn says:

        Oops. Didn’t end my blockquote properly. Sorry.

    • racerrodig says:

      You know your case sucks when the only positives are “claims” on how much money you conned people out of, then tell post how much they spent on Pizza ‘n stuff.

      Really……

      • The clowns keep dumping their money on these grifters.

        • racerrodig says:

          It’s just a claim. I may make a call in a bit and find out what’s up. I doubt it. Just days ago the term “…dire straits…” was used. He’s lying, and I’d bet the farm on it.

      • kimmi says:

        Really, Racerrodig…
        Wan’t he just ‘broke’ on Tuesday?
        Such liars, its sickening

        • racerrodig says:

          “…dire straits…” Does that sound pretty exact. I just made a call to one of the guys I know who can actually find out if they raised any money. He’s lying.

      • kimmi says:

        *Wasn’t

      • Trained Observer says:

        Don’t forget tailoring expenses for letting out Fogen’s pants. … New shirts that actually will button … and some clip-on ties for trial.

        • racerrodig says:

          Very true !! Yesterday fauxmccoy took a stab at my FogenPhoole trivia question and was close, but no cigar. Want to give it a shot ??

          “What does FogenPhoole say most often” and faux guessed a food answer that was close.

    • Xena says:

      The defense team also reported that Zimmerman and his wife have spent nearly $12,000 on living and household expenses in that time.

      Those disguises must be custom made.

  8. You all have thoughtful comments says:

    I just posted this on the NBC gz blog:
    ……….
    .
    George Zimmerman was caught in a pickle between third base and home plate and was tagged out.
    third base= the T
    home plate= the location of Trayvon’s body.
    .
    George asserted that he was walking on the T as he was returning to his vehicle.
    .
    …..Zimmerman: I fell to the ground when he punched me the first time.
    .
    So, according to this statement, GZ fell down on the T.
    .
    ….Zimmerman: He punched me in the face and I fell backwards.
    .
    Again, according to this statement, GZ fell down on the T.

    ……Singleton: And that’s…he struck you in the nose first?
    Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.Singleton: And that’s what knocked you down?
    Zimmerman: Yes, ma’am.
    Zimmerman: He punched me in the face and I fell backwards
    .

    Yet, when George arrives with the investigators at the crime scene, he realizes the location of Trayvon’s body should be at the T where he was knocked down.
    .
    Click> George Zimmerman Reenacts Shooting of Treyvon Martin for Police at Crime Scene (Part 2)
    .

    George was unable to solve the dilemma which he himself had created by his lies. He definitely was in a “pickle”. There was no way to move homeplate to third base and have them together. Should he run for home plate? Should he stay on third base?
    .
    Here is how George tried to solve his problem. (Of course, it placed him in that real pickle where he was tagged outanyway.) He chose to say he stumbled (south):
    .
    ….Zimmerman: I stumbled, and I fell down he pushed me down, somehow he got on top of me
    Investigator…on the grass or on the cement?
    Zimmerman: It was more over towards here. I was trying to push him away from me, and top of me.

    ….Zimmerman: It was more over towards here I was trying to push him away from me and then he got on top of me somewhere around here.
    .
    Let’s not forget that gz got on top of Trayvon immediately after he shot Trayvon. This means that Trayvon’s body should have been at the same location as the location where George said he had to shoot Trayvon because he (gz) was being smothered and having his head both punched and slammed into the concrete by Trayvon.

    ….Zimmerman: I, once I shot him, I holstered my firearm and I got on top of him and I held his hands down because he was still talking, and he, and uh, I said, Stay down. Don’t move.
    .
    Too, bad this location was 30+ feet from the actual location of Trayvon’s body.
    .
    Hence, George did not help himself with his new lies of “stumbling” south from the T. George is tagged out between third base and home plate.
    .
    If George had stayed on third base (the T) he would have been called “out” because of the even greater distance of the location of Trayvon’s body south of the T.
    .
    If George had said everything occurred at home plate (location of Trayvon’s body), he would have been called “out”because that would have proven that George was NOT returning to his vehicle but was aggressively hunting and pursuing Trayvon.
    .
    George did not have a chance. He was going to be called “out” by any one of those lies.

    • Trained Observer says:

      You all, thanks for shining a lot for NBC readers. It’s a pity that the last thing Trayvon may have felt was the touch of this slimeball.

      Below is the biggest croc, since clearly Trayvon wasn’t doing any talking after taking a bullet to the heart.

      Zimmerman: I, once I shot him, I holstered my firearm and I got on top of him and I held his hands down because he was still talking, and he, and uh, I said, Stay down. Don’t move.

    • KA says:

      Kinda kills “slamming my head in the sidewalk when I shot story” huh?

      It would indicate if he stayed with that, he actually got up afterwards and continued the fight. The body was in no position as you noted to make that a real scenario.

      Got it, the defense cannot even put him on the stand because his own narrative does not make sense at all and probably excludes self defense on it’s own.

    • willisnewton says:

      here’s another baseball analogy:

      The distance from where GZ claims he was struck to the spot where the shell casing was found (underneath the body) is the distance from home plate to the base of the pitcher’s mound in major league baseball.

      Imagine a batter, struck by the pitcher with the ball somehow “stumbling” all the way to the mound, and that is how ludicrous GZ’s claim sounds. Imagine also that the catcher suddenly is overwhelmed with the desire to KILL the stunned batter, yet can’t manage to catch him until they both reach the mound. That’s a seriously slow catcher, especially since the way george tells it the catcher was ALREADY in front of the batter.

      In his “re-enactment” (re-imagining is more like it) he moved less than HALF the distance to where the body was found.

      And yes, in all of his statements to SPD and ALSO in his written statement he claims he was struck to the ground by the initial blow and “mounted.” It’s only when taken to the scene that he gives his half-hearted excuse of “stumbling” some 40 feet south. It’s also worth noting that he omits doing anything with his hands except draw his gun and fire. Imagine you were struck in the face and had to stumble to the pitcher’s mound – what the heck was the teenager supposedly doing this whole time? If he had such “murderous intent” and his quarry was dazed, reeling and drunk-walking all that way, why didn’t the teen continue to rain blows upon him, or trip him, or whatever?

      Also keep in mind the staging/ blocking of movements according to GZ during the “re-enactment” includes the idea that after being struck in the face, George stumbled forward passing the exact spot where his “aggressor” was standing. I suppose TM stepped aside to let him pass like a regular gentleman? “Let the better man stumble past, please.” “You first, good chap, I’ll just wait until you finish your impersonation of Monty Python’s Ministry of Silly Walks before I do anything else.”

      • KA says:

        If Trayvon was trying to attack and overcome GZ, he would have grabbed a grill tool, branch, stick, or the Arizona can to hit him with when he was “hiding out” waiting for GZ. Oh, of course, he would not be talking on the phone either…

        • racerrodig says:

          Good baseball analogy’s but Fogen could never steal a base unless the game was over, it was the middle of the night and the equipment shed was left unlocked.

          If Trayvon had started flicking the Skittles Fogen would have high tailed it out as fast a he could have waddled. I agree, Trayvon more than likely would have looked for something but all of that is moot as I don’t think he had an aggressive bone in his body.

          I believe Fogen targeted and believed the odds were in his favor Trayvon would have a history of violence and he’d never be charged.

          All in all, FogenPhoole “Picked on the wrong kid” “…a kid with a future…..a kid with folks who cared….”

          • Race….

            “a kid with a future…..a kid with folks who cared….”

            A kid with a hell of a lot more than his folks who care….

            As tragic as it is….they try to tear down Trayvon…..No one really would have known who Trayvon was, hadn’t mr. wannabe MURDERED him…….

            To the point it has almost become a circus, what with MoM, west and fogen himself…..

            I look forward to fogens future…..all those cold lonely nights…….with many more to come……..

            fogen will be forgotten…..Trayvon won’t be

          • racerrodig says:

            Well said. When Serino made that comment, despite those who thought Serino was being soft, I knew he was not letting this just go away.

            There is no doubt FogenPhoole will rot in prison, not to mention hell, and you’re right, Trayvon won’t be forgotten, because there are millions who came to care.

  9. KA says:

    I wanted to ask about the scratches and the way to use them as evidence. It seems that if the defense enters his physician statement into evidence, EMT reports, etc, then they would have to account for the scratches since they are noted, right? They are to the front of the head along the scalp. It would not be consistent with “head banging sidewalk” on the back of his head since they are along the front and faint. Since there is no DNA is Trayvon’s nails, it could not have come from him. Grass would not make it.

    If the defense attributes the rest of the evidence as injuries sustained in the fight, then how to they account for the scratches? Would it not be impossible that Trayvon did the scratching? He had no zipper or anything similar to account for it.

    I think they are bushes, but I was just wondering how that would be seen by the jury and/or Judge Nelson? It would seem to me if some of the stated fight injuries fail to be accounted for in the fight, would that not place all the injuries into question?

    • They cannot enter those reports because they are hearsay. They have to call witnesses to describe what they saw or treated and duly qualified experts to explain what did or did not cause those injuries.

      • KA says:

        I suspect they will do that right?

        The scratches may be part of that testimony possibly. It seems to me there is no beneficial explanation for those small head scratches for the defense. They may have assumed to be Trayvon’s nail hitting him in the face, but that is not supported in any way by the lab report.

        It may be nothing, but there is no GZ narrative that supports those scratches seen in the police photos and mentioned in several reports considering no DNA in Trayvon’s nails.

        I wasn’t sure if that would bring into question the other injuries alleged from the altercation..

      • KA says:

        Personally, they look like scratches from brush to me.

        Maybe the small tree (which may explain the cut), maybe the small brush (from hiding in the dark).

  10. colin black says:

    Sex Pistols

    My favourate Fireams.

  11. colin black says:

    Trained Observer says:

    March 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    How about reckless discharge of a firearm on common grounds of a condominium?

    Reply

    A lot of girls got pregnant through simmilar conditions in the UK
    Condoms may claim to be safe but they are not always hundred percent.

  12. KA says:

    I think MOM will do his theatrics in trial as we have seen, so far, before the trial. This will be his last real chance to collect funds from supporters since I suspect he knows that GZ will be found guilty of something. It is actually a better situation for MOM as if he is not, all the money will have to go to GZ for “living expenses” since he is now in charge of the account. The only way MOM will get money if GZ wins is if he immediately gets a lien for his fees on the account.

    I think he will be one that has to be corrected and objected to constantly to at least get the information he wants to the jury, even if they are told to strike it. It gives credence to the CT conspiracy theories and it “plays a part” for his supporters to send in cash even when he loses.

    I assume the judge will get sick of it at some point, but I suspect a full three ring circus.

  13. lurker says:

    Worthy of a share here. This was dedicated to Trayvon when it was originally posted. http://youtu.be/_nkusHLWjZ4

  14. willisnewton says:

    if the prosecution presents a stripped down case – submitting only the body, shell casing and the NEN call recording as the bedrock of their case and deliberately does NOT enter defendant’s statements to SPD as evidence, how can the defense bring in the notion of self defense as a reason a jury should acquit?

    I can see the defense arguing the “the state’s lawyers haven’t proven the crime took place” argument, but I can’t see them presenting “it was self defense” unless they are allowed to enter the SPD statements in place of Fogen testifying. Because we all know he shouldn’t testify unless he’s willing to be raked over the coals endlessly for his lies / contradictions / obfuscations / omissions / inconsistent statements to SPD that fly in the face of evidence.

    But IANAL so I need some clarification here, please. How can the defense introduce self defense as a concept at all if the prosecution decides not to introduce his statements during the time they argue the case against him?

    And I apologize if this has been answered before.

    But perhaps this is part of the defense strategy here – maybe they are hoping to “draw out” the prosecution in a manner that forces the state to go ahead and open the whole can of worms that comes with entering the statements to SPD as evidence of guilt, even though that ALSO opens the door for the defense to use these statements as the way to argue the killing was in self-defense, thus saving them the difficulty of needing to put Fogen on the stand.

    The chance that after the prosecution presents a stripped down case that the defense could file a motion for summary dismissal seems real. I don’t know however what that motion would look like. I don’t see how the defense could say the motion is asking for immunity for “standing his ground” unless they first assert and prove he did so.

    • KA says:

      They could enter his gun/bullets and witnesses into evidence to tie Zimmerman to the crime.

      • KA says:

        I think the NEN call, the timing, the witnesses, the gun, the ballistics, forensics, and the refusal to seek medical care could be done without his testimony?

      • willisnewton says:

        I’m trying to make a distinction between two possibilities here: either the prosecution enters fogen’s statements to SPD when they first present their case, or they don’t.

    • Jun says:

      Trust me, the jury is just gonna weigh the evidence. They do not need his statements or testimony to prove he is the guy that did the killing. If there is no Fogenhats testimony, there is no claims of self defense.

  15. stevie g. says:

    couldn’t the judge alone hear zimmerman’s testimony for deciding the immunity issue?

    • KA says:

      Not without the State cross examining.

      They tried that with Judge Lester unsuccessfully. I think if the Defense submits it, the State gets to cross AND present their case which I assume would include impeachment of his testimony.

      • stevie g. says:

        yes, the state can cross; just not in front of the jury.

      • KA says:

        Right. They can just use information from it in trial as well. It will likely not get granted by Judge Nelson and both sides know that. I think the State would welcome it at a chance to cross examine. There is too much in dispute. I do not think she will pass it unless it is clear cut, and it already is not that.

    • racerrodig says:

      That’s exactly how it works. An Immunity hearing is only before the same Judge assigned to the case. No jury. Fogen goes 1st and must prove with a preponderance of the evidence he was attacked and he was forced to use deadly force.

  16. Malisha says:

    The State won’t need to use character evidence against Fogen; he is on record stalking Trayvon Martin and the physical evidence shows he then murdered him. IF however the defense’s DEFENSE to all that is that Fogen is a really great guy who would NEVER do such a bad thing, THEN his character comes into play and — um — look out Mr. Rode-in-on-a-white-horse because you might end up looking like Mr. White-Horse’s-ASS instead.

    • Trained Observer says:

      At which point BDLR might roll out his wagonload of evidence on Fogen’s not-so-hot character, thus tellingl MOM & West to FO with the horses they rode in on …

    • KA says:

      I like the argument that GZ supporters say that he would not do it knowing the police were coming. The fundamental flaw with that is the police did not know where GZ was, they only knew where his car was (which notice he did not change the location of to the NEN operator).

      He told them to “call him when they got to the neighborhood” and where his car was parked.

      He obviously did not plan on leaving in his car.

      • racerrodig says:

        “He obviously did not plan on leaving in his car.”

        No, he planed on being on the hunt. “…have them call me…” I’ll be on the hunt is what the call should have included.

      • Xena says:

        @KA

        I like the argument that GZ supporters say that he would not do it knowing the police were coming.

        Then they are calling GZ a lie, because in his Hannity interview GZ said he killed Trayvon because he knew the police were coming and he didn’t want to be caught standing there with his gun in his hand and have the cops shoot him. ,

        • racerrodig says:

          I kind of read that as “….uh oh, I illegally detained this kid at gun point so I better kill the witness and say it was self defense”

          My guy is calling me back at 5

  17. Trained Observer says:

    Question: Have either MOM or BDLR submitted their trial witness lists thus far? If not, what is the deadline for submitting such line-ups before criminal proceedings in Florida?

    Drifted off last night wondering if Fogen’s Sister Susie has been subpoenaed for deposition in either the murder trial or Mrs. Fogen’s perjury trial. (Based on jailhouse phone chat with her conniving bro, she certainly was a player in moving the money around.) Would love to see what she has to say under oath about the money or assorted other topics.

    • I do not believe she will testify at either trial because she would have to take the 5th and refuse to answer any questions, given her potential exposure to participating in a conspiracy to aid her brother to flee from justice.

      • KA says:

        Yeah, especially, I assume, because she is an attorney professionally.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Better to be a professional attorney, than an amateur, huh? Seriously, though, are you saying Fogen’s Sis Suzie is an attorney, as in a member of a bar somewhere in the U.S.

      • KA says:

        Yeah, I think she is an immigration attorney.

      • Trained Observer says:

        Wow … so she might risk sanctions or disbarment, depending on how things go with Mrs. Fogen’s perjury charge, and given her own role in moving the money around after chatting about it on the jailhouse phone.

        As Crane-Station said yesterday …. this just gets better and better.

      • KA says:

        I think she will claim ignorance of the testimony and motion around being “Indigent” as she was not on the “family call” in that first hearing.

      • lurker says:

        For a family with some apparent legal training and expertise, it certainly is surprising how they handled this from the beginning. Z. spent far too much time unrepresented and talking to the police–and it is coming back to bite him big time. Could they really all have been so arrogant as to believe he would never be charged?

      • KA says:

        Yes, I think he absolutely thought he would never be charged. Actually, if the family had not went national with it and Governor Scott not felt the publicity heat and assigned an independent prosecutor, he probably would not have been charged at all. They told the Martin/Fulton family long before DNA evidence was back that they were not pressing charges and it was considered “self defense”. That was 9 days after it and most things were not even sent off to a lab. They had no intention of investigating beyond a few witness statements that they led.

        I also do not think GZ knows how he comes across. He thinks he sounds knowledgeable, authoritative, and “police like”, but really, he sounds like someone who has not accomplished what they are [constantly] bragging about. We all know the type.

      • Rachael says:

        An immigration attorney?!! Wow!

      • Malisha says:

        Lurker — YES, the whole family could have been completely convinced that there was NO WAY IN THE WORLD Fogen would be charged with a crime. It would only take ONE phone call (for less than two minutes) from Wolfinger for the arrangement to be not only made but firmed up and cemented. Remember, the response was NO CHARGE NO CHARGE NO CHARGE NO CHARGE right up to the point where the state house in Florida was beseiged and they had to face not just all of Florida but all of the country and two million signatures on a petition and the WORLD, before they said, “OK we’ll actually investigate the death.” Up until then the official story, which I am sure was given to Fogen in the squad car with Tim Smith as they rode to the station house, was: IT WAS SELF-DEFENSE AND THE DEAD KID WAS A THUG.

        Yes, they were all completely sure there would be no charges. Fogen spoke freely because he had a pass in his hand. His “good cop” was the whole SPD and there was no “bad cop.” He was home free before he uttered the first word and even before he got the big ole butterfly bandaids on his poor battered noggin.

        The fix was in and it only got shaken loose because the killing of Trayvon Martin had brought about a condition of “critical mass.”

    • Malisha says:

      I really wonder what she would say about the girl cousin, and her observations of the relationship between her sainted brother and her (and his) girl cousin. Notice there was no public appearance of sister Susie defending her bro when the allegations of misconduct with the cousin surfaced!

    • Trained Observer says:

      Fogen’s created quite a legal mess for his family — not that some of them haven’t pitched in themselves along the way.

      It’s getting easier to see how pressures within the family might be mounting for Fogen to try to cut a deal. By their potential way of thinking, all these nasty sidebar situations with money laundering, a hidden duplicate passport (possibly to flee) , open court discussionof child molestation, and who knows what else might just go away. Or so they might be naive enough to think.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Methinks they doth protest too much. They’d have more credibility if they kept their mouths shut until trial.

  18. KA says:

    I would think especially in a scenario where the defendant has a history of calling NEN on young black males and there are residents that can testify that he was very confrontational. I thought I remembered a witness (can’t remember which one) said that she knew of GZ and his neighborhood watch and could see him confronting an unknown youth.

    I also want to say that the mentoring story is bull. We have been a family that works extensively with at risk youth and children and every adult member of our family has a first inclination of empathy and understanding for a child/youth. There is no way a “volunteer” mentor of at risk kids with “years” of experience would not have that. They would not “make” it.

    Also, his verbiage about mentoring is all wrong. No one would call the act of doing something with the kids at their house (which would be a tight and personal relationship) “mentoring” the kids on a Sunday. Mentoring is the name of a relationship.

    It is like saying “I was just finished with “parenting” my kids when I went to the store”

    • Trained Observer says:

      KA — great analogy on the mentoring/parenting verbiage. But don’tcha just know Fogen figures to finish mentoring sounds so much more impressive than to say he’d been playing around with a couple of kids.

  19. KA says:

    Professor,

    Have you ever tried a case where the defense was self defense and the defendant did not take the stand? Especially with no witnesses to validate the actual homicide?

    I was under the impression that SD is one defense scenario where it is highly recommended to have the defendant testify (although I know they have the right not to). I would think without witnesses that clearly saw the actual killing, it would be really hard to enter the narrative that the defense wants to. It seems to me it would look like just random arguments with little to no cohesiveness in story (especially when very distinct parts of it can be reasonably refuted with other evidence).

    • You said,

      Have you ever tried a case where the defense was self defense and the defendant did not take the stand? Especially with no witnesses to validate the actual homicide?

      Not in a murder case. The most likely situation I can think of would be a self-defense killing observed by other witnesses and the defendant does not want to risk testifying because he has a prior felony conviction that we do not want the jury to know.

      That’s not to say that there are not any situations in a self-defense murder trial where I would recommend my client not testify, however.

      This might be such a case because the defendant can only make things worse, if he testifies.

      • KA says:

        I guess he is in a damned if he does or damned if he doesn’t in this case.

        I thought, the potential of impeachment, him bringing forth a narrative of what happened would at least give them a story to cling to for the jury verses unsubstantiated incoherent arguments that they would be left with if none of his statements are used for evidence.

        It seems with the evidence and “second by second” narrative that Corey’s team stated she had (with supporting evidence), there is not a lot of alternative narrative that could be introduced from the defenses point of view.

        I guess his goose is cooked either way on this (impeachment verses lack of narrative) but it would seem to me the risk of impeachment might be more helpful than a lack of story??

  20. KA says:

    So how does attorney’s such as Jeralyn (who know the rules of evidence) think he can prevail without testifying?

    I can’t really see a reasonable person in any area of law thinking that is probable with this case and even self defense when no one else saw the shooting.

    • Malisha says:

      Jeralyn is thinking that all jurors would ASSUME that Trayvon was a violent thug who attacked Fogen, just as SHE DID. Perhaps her work as defense counsel over the years has convinced her that just about anybody she comes in contact with or hears about is likely to be a violent criminal. Either that or she is just as racist as Fogen and believes most Americans are equally so — thus that they will assume Trayvon Martin savagely attacked Fogen and beat him nearly to death, despite the fact that such a version of events does not match the physical evidence at all. She’s just swallowed Fogen’s story for reasons that cannot really be assumed IF we do not want to assume really embarrassingly bad things about her psychiatric condition.

      • KA says:

        I was talking on a media story with a mix of people (ie uninterested, GZ supporters, TM supporters, and neutral). One neutral person that was seemingly an attorney that has followed the case loosely throughout the past year was pretty set that he would have near no chance of winning without testifying and providing a narrative for the events to counter the State’s narrative of events.

        He (very politely) corrected GZ supporters that they could not enter his statements into evidence without the State first doing so. He/she could not see them doing when they are not crossing him. The alternative defense narrative would be near impossible to make without his testimony. He said “injuries will not get you there”

        It seems to me that MOM knows that the prosecution surely has the advantage on evidence admission in this case.

        The GZ supporters said they could make a “nice little package” of GZ statements to substitute his testimony. One of them actually inferred he was an attorney or worked in the field…it was quite funny.

      • KA says:

        I think she is a defense attorney that specifically takes cases around CCWP. I assume this case has a lot of interest for her professionally and winning it is important to her business.

        I think even NeJame has admitted that GZ is not credible or at least has issues in that area and it will be an issue for the defense and limit their options at trial. He reached that after the bail revoking. It is strange that Jeralyn cannot reach that same conclusion. That, at least, seems very straightforward and reasonable to conclude.

      • leander22 says:

        What does CCWP mean? I could of course look in an acronym web site.

        Concerning Jeralyn and the bail revoking money affairs, she followed O’Mara: Fogen did not lie, it wasn’t proven that he and Shellie tricked judge Lester. She stood tall for Fogen all through bail revocation, she did not like how it was handled. For her it was a minor affair. My pet theory is that her perspective in driven by a combination of self-advertisement and ALEC like interest angles, but that is pure speculation.

        Her own explanation is that she is ALWAYS on the side of the defendant. You may find that in her comment rules, either the specific ones for the Fogen case or her general ones. There are two set of rules. But maybe I am mistaken. No I am not:

        Please understand TalkLeft is not a neutral site While a lot of factual and legal research go into my posts, and I strive for accuracy (and will correct any inaccuracies) this is a criminal defense site. I view every case through the lens of the Constitution and from the perspective of the person accused or under investigation. My goal is always to protect the rights of those accused of crime.

      • Two sides to a story says:

        She’s a concealed weapons carrier herself and is soliciting clients who are in trouble for their so-called self-defense.

      • KA says:

        CCWP. I have no idea if it is official, but I meant conceal and carry weapons permit.

  21. ks says:

    Sorry for the double post but I forgot another “tell” from the defense that shows they are in trouble. If they are so broke they need to beg for funds wouldn’t it make sense to get to the immunity hearing as quickly as possible especially since they are soooooo confident in their case? lol.

  22. ks says:

    The obvious thing to me is that if you look at what MOM and Co. are doing as opposed to what they are saying, they are screaming that they have no case.

    The incessant begging for funds, the ridiculous NBC lawsuit (especially the timing), the non-stop media appearances, the endless frivolous motions and delay tactics, the fight with the Feds, the obsession with Crump and so on.

    Every once in awhile though they give it away with their words as well like when MOM claims that he can win at trial without GZ’s testimony. Uh huh. Of course GZ has a right not to testify but how does MOM think he’s going to get GZ’s latest story to the jury without him? Magic? Wave a couple of pictures around? I guess so.

    • KA says:

      Exactly, how will they know of his death defying “head smashing”?

      What are they going to do, she a picture of a bloody head and say “SEEEEE”

      • lurker says:

        I would imagine that they would hope to be able to show the pictures to some medical expert who might speculate as the kinds of wounds and how they might have been made.

        [and on cross would probably have to admit a number of other ways in which they could have been made, not to mention not having examined the actual person at the time]

        And then they would call John to say that he saw Trayvon on top of z.

        [and on cross he would have to admit that he has changed his story on rethinking and it really wasn’t all that clear]

        Then defense would call some witnesses to say that they believed that the screaming voice was the younger of the two, that they saw Z. on top, that wounds were minor and not life-threatening, bring in the NEN dispatcher who would testify as to why he thought Z. was following Trayvon, play the tape.

        Nope–I just don’t think it would go all that well for him.

      • KA says:

        I love that the EMT testifying that over 70% of GZs head/face was covered in blood and Trayvon has no blood on his hands, cuffs, sleeves. Since we know the defense will use him to “substantiate” injuries, the fact that Trayvon did not have any blood on his mighty fists would surely discount how those injuries were received. Since the EMT did not see the incident nor can comment on the origination of the injuries as a witness outside of hearsay from GZ, it should be interesting.

        I doubt the jury will buy that Trayvon wore gloves and a hazmat suit that evaporated.

        In addition, his 911 calls are damning. He changes his mind at the end of the call to have the police “call him when they get there” from the original plan of meeting them at the mailboxes. He admitted to following on the call, used harsh language about Trayvon, and then seemed distracted at the end when he changed his mind about meeting the police. There is a logical conclusion there without his narrative that he continued to pursue Trayvon.

        Who is going to say he didn’t if he doesn’t testify?

        I think Serino’s recommendation found is also key as his reason for the charge was that Z ultimately created and furthers the encounter and did not use words to withdraw (by his own testimony). Those are things that exclude the charge of self defense under FL law.

        Who will defend “imminent fear” irrespective of the points above? No one can infer fear but Z since no one saw immediately before the shot Those that thought they knew the top/bottom arrangement have changed their story to “unsure”.

        No one to correct that as no witness say the initial confrontation…

        It is quite interesting to think about the many scenarios and stories playing out without GZ testifying.

        MOM has a bad few weeks ahead of him.

      • kllypyn says:

        If he was beaten like he claims where was the bruising the facial swelling the black eyes busted lips,all he has are scratches. plus you’d have to believe he just laid and let trayvon hit him.This from a man with a history of violence who worked as a bouncer.

      • KA says:

        I saw the scratches by the scalp around the face. Where in the world did he get those if Trayvon did not have Gz’s DNA on his nails/nailbeds? They surely did not come from him. They almost look like bushes….

        (ie…maybe someone else was crouching in those shrubs..)

        Someone said once in a forum (maybe here) that if you took GZ’s story/words at face value and flipped it from Trayvon to GZ, it actually made sense and provided a very believable and supported narrative.

      • KA says:

        I also can’t believe the “sidewalk” story is still out there since no one saw them on the sidewalk and Trayvon’s body was found with toes facing toward the sidewalk 6 ft away.

        How did he shoot him while getting his head banged if the body is in the wrong position and that far away from the sidewalk?

        I noticed the defense team seems to have backed away from that claim. They seem to now concentrate on the nose.

  23. You all have thoughtful comments says:

    I have grown so tired of zimmies complaining about which picture the media first published.

    Here is what I just wrote on the NBC blog:
    .

    Roy Wilson, you wrote:

    ……”This case got blown way out of normal when the media showed Martin in photographs from when he was 12 years old”
    …….

    Roy,the nation’s reaction, that included a petition signed by 2,000,000+ citizens, had nothing to do with which picture of Trayvon was published.

    The reaction was a simple gut reaction after learning that a person walking home from the store and doing nothing wrong was followed and killed by George Zimmerman.

    People were horrified.

    • manberk says:

      Normal is relative. They dont believe those pics portrays TMs thuggrey enough. They prefer those that were photoshoped so it felt normal – to them. Note Fogens criminal background & trampling TMs rights are of no importance.

      • lurker says:

        A frightening number of people that I read elsewhere are of the opinion that Trayvon deserved to die, or his death was of no consequence anyway because he was nothing but a thug. They have seen this from the beginning as a tale of good vs evil in which the good guys wear white skin and the bad guys wear dark hoodies.

      • Rachael says:

        Yes lurker. Many of them feel the future was saved by doing away with him now. Think of all the future thuggery that has been prevented.

        Such sick, twisted people.

    • KA says:

      The issue was, he was not 12 in that picture, he was a freshman in high school and 14 or 15. He was only a mid year junior at the time of his death. His mother has repeatedly said his growing spurt happened in the last year.

      The 12 year old in the picture is a myth. Honestly, I would easy believe him to be 14 or 15 in that picture but the “12” is an exaggeration on a stupid argument that the picture was not “recent enough”. I would consider any high school picture acceptable and a nonissue under any situation like this.

      • manberk says:

        I believe I read that pic was 1 year old. Totally normal to have younger pics of people. I think the first pic I saw of the Sandy Hook shooter was 5 years old.

      • lurker says:

        According to Jonathon Capehart, one of the most frequently used pictures (with the red t-shirt) was about 6 months old. Now, granted, adolescents do have periods of rapid growth and maturity–but the whole issue of the photos is really such a red herring.

        Even if Trayvon was 50 and a serial killer recently escaped from the state penitentiary, there was NOTHING that Z. knew about him other than that he was walking in the neighborhood while black and wearing a hoodie.

      • ladystclaire says:

        I don’t see what age he was when certain picture was taken has nothing to do with Fogen killing this kid. I’m sick of these *ignorant racist THUGS* trying to make a none issue an issue. no matter what his age was in any given photo, HE WAS STILL 17 WHEN THIS WANDERING GUN HAPPY THUG MURDERED HIM!

      • KA says:

        Ya know, making “something out of nothing” is all they have really.

        If they are willing to look at that deposition with DeeDee and BLDR and conclude IN COURT that she lied under oath without ever deposing her, I suspect they are practicing a PR form of witness intimidation or they got no’thin on her or this case at all…especially considering the practical pubic dismissal of Shellie and GZ’s role in lying outright in court. This “lying” claim under oath is such a thin stretch when looking at the transcript. I suspect they banked on the fact no media person would check it out before quickly writing the story. They know they do not have perjury here. Anyone can see that.

        I heard yesterday from a GZ supporter that BLDR refused to allow W8 to be deposed until now “because she was too sensitive”. I asked him to show me the transcript of that…of course he ignored and ranted on that they had “no information” to contact her for the deposition.

      • Lynn says:

        This, to me, is the picture making Trayvon look his oldest and most mature. I think the Defense should use this one 🙂

        • racerrodig says:

          Holy Smokes…..I saw a pair of those same glasses in a store called
          “Thugs ‘R’ Us” That picture may be one of the latest, but one of the least threatening looking…..the blue tie and all. Not one thug I know would ever be seen wearing a blue tie.

          Red !! Now that’s a “Power Thug” tie color.

      • Jun says:

        LMAO They have asked them for months and months on end to depose her, but the defense refuses to do so

      • KA says:

        I actually found the “too sensitive” transcript. Unfortunately it had nothing to do with deposition, it was an early April 2012 interview with Crump on Nancy Grace. He was saying the State was giving W8 time as she is upset. The deposition from the State was the next day.

        I guess the GZ supporters confused the State’s April deposition with the last 7 months that the defense could have done it.

        They will spin anything their way I honestly think it is a game of telephone with them. The more ears it goes through, the worse and more incorrect the story gets.

      • Malisha says:

        What got people up in arms about the murder of Trayvon Martin was NOT that they saw a picture of a cute little innocent kid and thought, “Oh he was too cute to be killed just as if he was an older, unattractive, thug-looking pBa-lack kid.” In fact, although the picture was “cute” and was indicative of a certain endearing innocence, the real reason people of good conscience were up in arms about the murder of Trayvon Martin was that you’re not allowed to murder people, even if you think they AREN’T “cute” or “endearing.” I could slap up a picture of someone right now who looks non-cute, who looks ugly even, and who appears to be the epitome of a villain, and that would not legitimize any claim I might make to be entitled to kill him.

        That is the rule of law.

        People were outraged that Fogen had any idea — which obviously he did then and continues to have now — that he was entitled to kill a kid he found “suspicious” or he set himself up in judgment over. People were outraged that a f0cking punk like Fogen would identify someone ELSE as his prey, and act on it. People were outraged that the cops went along with this. They were outraged that nobody heard even a PEEP of “uh oh” from Fogen when it was revealed to him that his dead victim had NOT BEEN A CRIMINAL AT ALL. Not a peep of “uh oh,” folks! Not a squeak of “OMG.” Not a whiff of “did I do wrong?” Not a suggestion of “Oops, I probably shouldn’t’ve–” NOTHING.

        “Would you do anything different?”
        NO.
        “Do you regret anything?”
        NO.

        That is what people of conscience find appalling, disgusting, blameworthy, unacceptable, condemnible, damnable, atrocious, wrong-headed, hateful, to be rejected, to be punished, to be forbidden, to be written down in the annals of NO. To be cleansed from the human race. To be flung from our midsts. To be removed from our history. To be pummeled into non-existence as a stain on humanity and a gangrene to be amputated from our common consciousness forever.

        NOT the age or cuteness of the victim of a murder.

        Idiots. How pathetic you make other Americans appear to the world by your shameless displays of combined stupidity and evil.

        • racerrodig says:

          Well said. That is what outraged me and everyone I know coupled with no arrest.

          ” I could slap up a picture of someone right now who looks non-cute, who looks ugly even…….”

          I know you don’t have a picture of me…….I know you don’t….!!!

    • Two sides to a story says:

      That photo was actually taken 6 months before the shooting incident. It’s become an urban myth that it portrays a 12-year-old Trayvon.

  24. Malisha says:

    Excuse me, correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe a court is a thing of statutory construction. It only exists by the enabling legislation that sets it up and it only has jurisdiction to do what the enabling legislation and other written legislation, including rules, empower it to do. It cannot just make up a new kind of trial and hold a new kind of trial. In Florida law there is a structure, and rules, to a criminal trial. On of the possibilities BEFORE TRIAL is that there is a SYG hearing at which the defense is entitled to try to prove to A JUDGE (not a jury) that there is a preponderance of evidence that the defendant is immune from prosecution because of his invoking the “Stand Your Ground” law, which is a written law that has certain standards and elements that must be met.

    If a judge does not preside over such a hearing, the defendant is not granted immunity from prosecution, so the trial (or plea) goes forward.

    You cannot “combine” a motion to grant immunity FROM prosecution WITH a prosecution. It would be like “combining” a vacuum with a mass. They do not combine; a vacuum is the absence of the mass. A SYG hearing COULD clear the defendant FROM a prosecution but then there could be no trial. So, nothing with which to combine.

    Standards of proof are different.
    Finder of Fact is different (on the one hand judge, on the other, jury).
    Burden of proof is different.
    Procedural rules are incompatible.
    O’Mara knows this is not an actual possibility; he is talking in Treeper Code to make it seem that the reason he cannot get Fogen off is that the court is forcing him to try to engage in an unfair trial. THAT IS HIS ONLY GOAL NOW because he has a loser case and a loser client and he will lose because he should lose.

    If you don’t want to lose, don’t take on a loser.

  25. ks says:

    Great article Fred/Prof. The defense is blowing smoke as usual though, like you, I’m surprised that people like Jeralyn who should know better are pushing it.

    The whole point of an immunity hearing is to determine whether the defendant will be granted immunity from prosecution or not. Once a trial actually starts that point is pretty moot. It’s not just a routine pre-trial hearing as some are implying elsewhere.

    The idea that JN will hold a full on immunity hearing either after the prosecutions case or at the end of the trial is silly not just for the constitutional problems of shifting burdens of proof you mentioned but the logistics of it are bad as well. MOM can file whatever motions he likes and, like in the case referenced by TalkLeft, they will likely be denied. Also, JN has been quite exacting in dealing with the scheduling of this case.

    The telling point is the one you keep coming back to which is, if the defense had a case they would’ve had the immunity hearing already. Period. MOM and Co. are running a PR campaign as opposed to a defense. I mean, a year later and they still haven’t deposed W8 and are still filing frivolous motions. This “combining” the immunity into the trial nonsense is more of the same like the notion that they can win at trial without GZ testifying. All smoke and mirrors to keep GZs supporters deluded and the money coming in. .

    • Another important point that has been ignored in the discussion about combining the two hearings is the understandable reluctance that a judge would have in taking a case away from a jury after going through a jury selection process that lasts several weeks and a trial that lasts several more weeks, if not months. Judges generally are loathe to do that.

      A judge also would be extremely reluctant to set aside a jury verdict and grant immunity after a trial.

      Most judges I know would not do that, even if they disagreed with the jury verdict, especially in a high publicity case like this one.

      I am pretty sure MOM and West know this and that is why I regard this tactic as a smokescreen to cover waiving an immunity hearing without formally and publicly waiving it.

  26. manberk says:

    I vote smokescreen! Why in the world would an innocent person with preponderance of evidence in his defense and who should have never been arrested due to a lack of probable cause, have any issue trying to get immunity? Its not “immunity, or jail, pick one”. If he failed to secure immunity but felt innocent, it should be no trouble then facing a jury as MOM says he wants to do anyway. Think about that one. According to MOM Fogen is willing to risk his freedom just to prove a point. LOL. Hysterical. Read between the lines.

    Then we have MOMs inference thats hes just prioritizing in the name of time and just cant get ready for 2 trials. What a crock for so many reasons. If there was a preponderance of evidence to support the story 10 months was plenty of time. You would think if he was really prioritizing the order would be, 1) get my client off at the immunity hearing first, 2) if that doesnt work, chase kooky conspiracies thru and endless parade frivolous ill prepared motions. All that time, ignoring request after request to start talking depos. etc. could have all been spent preparing for a hearing. But that wasnt the priority. Why not? Based on these actions, their true priorities, the amount of time they are spending on DeeDee, painting her as the states best witness even though the state has never said it, leads me to believe they are petrified of DeeDee and she is important to their case, not the states. JMO.

  27. Tzar says:

    Sorry to stray off topic but…
    I find myself caught in a loop
    what happens when politicians can push a false idea forward unchallenged by the press?
    something not good
    but what happens when the press can push a false idea forward unchallenged by whoever is left (I guess us)?

    DeeDee lied! That country needs democracy! They have WMD’s!

    The end of good

    It takes much more work to maintain good
    Evil and good emanates from human actions all the time but evil seeks hegemony while good seeks compromise and balance.

    I am reminded of the words of Jose Saramago from his book Blindness, “This is what we are made of, half indifference half malice”.

  28. rayvenwolf says:

    Its a bad idea and its not going to pay off in the long run. Not financially and certainly not with an acquittal.

    And speaking about DD theories – has anyone else heard the schlock that she didn’t go to the hospital for high blood pressure, but went to have an abortion instead?

    On an off topic side note, but still in the land of muck – Angela Corey will be handling the prosecution of Michael Dunn, Jordan Davis’ killer.

    • aussiekay says:

      yeah, ages ago, when DeeDee first showed up. They were saying abortion = Trayvon is (statutory) rapist = worse thug than even they thought. They dropped this fairly smartly and substituted some story about him and cousins and something about some other girl and good thing she hadn’t called the cops; but that was based on some other guy’s FB they thought was Trayvon’s. Anyway we shouldn’t even be repeating the garbage they came up with.

      • KA says:

        I do not think it is required for a witness to turn over medical reports for herself for any reason on a completely non material matter. Basically, if she does not commit to going to the hospital that day and explains what she meant by “somewhere”, they have nothing to go on.

        SO he asked for 6 months of medical records and the State told him there was none to have?

        I think Jun is right. I think they did not feel he needed it. They would not even know if she had medical records for a 6 month span or not because I do not think anyone would even think to look or ask for that because it is so irrelevant. .

    • lurker says:

      I’m pretty sure that is what O’Mara was fishing for when he asked for 6 months of her medical records.

    • lurker says:

      Good to know about Michael Dunn–I’ve been looking for something to happen in that case, but things have been pretty quiet.

      • rayvenwolf says:

        Not much is hitting the news. I do follow things on the Duvall county court page though. They are headed for pretrial this month, so the ball is moving more quickly in that case.

  29. aussiekay says:

    How about guys who’ve won SYG cases everyone else is still shaking their heads about?

  30. ay2z says:

    To fit the definition, first and foremost they would have to be male and have to be blatant, unflinching liars.

  31. acemayo says:

    We decided to focus on the idea that George wants to have a jury of his peers decide his case.

    George wants to have an jury of his peers
    who are they
    I forgot the backslash

  32. acemayo says:

    We decided to focus on the idea that George wants to have a jury of his peers decide his case.

    George wants to have an jury of his peers
    who are they

    • kimmi says:

      6 Afro-Peruvians, right? Or is it 6 white, non-hispanics?
      Wait, what day is it?

      • ay2z says:

        fogen probably wants to run the voire dire

      • Malisha says:

        Fogen’s voir dire questions:

        1. Do you believe everything I have said or have you been brainwashed by racists?

        2. Do you see things my way or are you a bad person?

        3. Do you believe that whatever I have done is right and whoever disagrees is motivated by hateful and wrongful indecent, un-American intentions?

        4. Will you acquit me or are you a bigoted, criminalistic enemy of the people?

      • racerrodig says:

        I don’t think there are any people eligible who spent 7+ years on any 2 year college course that would be considered a peer.

    • Malisha says:

      Fogen’s peers:

      Non racist perfect individuals who only mean good at all times, but to whom, for no known reason, all sorts of terrible things happen and all sorts of people form wrongful impressions about him as well. He simply tries to defend a friend he thinks is being beaten up and ends up charged with attacking an ATF guy; he simply tries to defend himself against a vindictive ex-girlfriend and he gets a restraining order; he simply tries to promote the civil rights of an African American and he gets misunderstood. He is just caught up in God’s plan. He must have a million peers. stand still near the courthouse and throw a stone and you will hit one of them. GOOD! Hit him again with another stone!

  33. ay2z says:

    Fred has said of the defense in this case, that they are not ready for prime time. This could be the biggest example yet. Going into this case thinking they could win if they signed up for Twitter and Facebook and got a couple websites to rake in the dough and shovel out the BS to ‘the masses’ might be a hard lessons for their prime time debut.

    Maybe this legal wizz team should try out for MENSA instead.

  34. ay2z says:

    Oh darn! I put everything in blockquote accidentally. 1st two paragraphs were a quote of our fine author and professor of law, the rest should have been in plain regular ordinary text, unblocked. (sorry)

  35. ay2z says:

    I realize that this procedure has been followed in other cases in Florida, and Judge Nelson could decide to follow it in GZ’s case, but I think she would be unwise to do so.

    For example, if the defendant were to testify, the jury found him guilty, and Judge Nelson denied his motion for immunity, you can bet that he will claim that he was forced to waive the presumption of innocence and his right to remain silent in order to exercise his statutory right to an immunity hearing and that his lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel by waiving his right to a pretrial immunity hearing.

    Thanks! This is what I was trying to understand about Florida and the recent case of the police officer who shot his son. Mark O’Mara must know his client is somewhat ‘self-directed’, and is given to sue someone for spitting into his car, imagine how fast he’d toss O’Mara until the wheels of his Silver Honda Ridgeline (that is, when he looses enough mid-line to fit into it’s bucket seat and behind it’s tilt steering wheel, once again).

    Say, we haven’t heard about those phone records for the 26th, that MOM and West made such a fuss about getting, have we?!

    We have heard about video requests for Sam’s and a couple other places, but no phone records. Why is the defense not out holding those documents to the cameras?

  36. ay2z says:

    I hope that Witness 8 has good support to help her through this, and to prepare her to feel confident and comfortable (as much as possible at least so she’s not intimidated by these defense lawyers).

    (what you bet the defense team gets a token black assistant to come on board to sit at the defense table, and a few mixed race supporters behind the bar wearing matching purple shirts as a sign of solidarity.)

    • racerrodig says:

      What !! No Afro – Peruvian assistants !!

      • ay2z says:

        No, just one Peruvian-Afro assistant of semi-Arab decent– a woman would be best, given the pubicity of deviance in this defendant. (hey, he’s the one who used the word ‘deviant’ on Hannity).

      • leander22 says:

        (hey, he’s the one who used the word ‘deviant’ on Hannity)

        did he. I have only seen that once. It doesn’t seem available on you tube. Only snippets. Do you remember the context?

    • KA says:

      No, their main “funders” would turn on him.

  37. Jun says:

    Another question, if the defense attacks a witness, let us say witness 8, as I can already foresee that since the beginning, does that open the door on Fogenbutt?

  38. towerflower says:

    Professor, Thank you for taking the time to answer things. I also think it nothing but a ploy to keep the funds coming in. I frankly could not see how this is a win for the defense.

  39. KA says:

    I just saw a GZ supporter convinced that if GZ is convicted, MOM can still go back and get him a SYG immunity trial and get a “second bite at the apple” so there is really “no risk” in his trial plan.

    • KA says:

      I am sure this is the newest CT theory.

      • KA says:

        They are getting this from O’Mara’s PR person himself…this was in an NBC article:

        ” Vincent said that releasing the court dates doesn’t waive any rights Zimmerman has to have an immunity hearing, and indeed the defense may raise “Stand Your Ground” claims at trial. In addition, Zimmerman could seek immunity from civil claims at a later date.
        “By entertaining the option of not having an immunity hearing before trial, George preserves the option of having a civil immunity hearing should he need it in the future,” Vincent said.”

        How could he get civil immunity at a later date than the trial?

        • racerrodig says:

          “How could he get civil immunity at a later date than the trial?”

          The law is he can’t. He gets one shot and one only at Immunity. Anyone who says otherwise is “jerking your chain” as we say.

          If that was the case every convicted killer that had any grounds in the slightest would be filing Motions for Immunity after the fact. Once convicted…..you are no longer Immune by definition.

          What dorks !!

        • Xena says:

          @KA

          How could he get civil immunity at a later date than the trial?

          If GZ is acquitted, then sued in civil court, he might argue the jury’s acquittal to say he is immune.

          Chances are that will fail because statute only provides immunity from civil action if the defendant prevails in an immunity hearing that grants immunity from prosecution.

        • I think people are forgetting that the court loses jurisdiction over a case after a jury returns a verdict of “not guilty.”

          The same is true, if the verdict is guilty, with the important exception of the sentencing, matters related to it, and the power to decide certain post-trial motions related to the trial itself.

          In other words, I think the court loses jurisdiction to conduct an immunity hearing after the jury returns a verdict.

      • Jun says:

        Fogenhatters will be litigated until Kingdom Come

        Nothing like a Woman Scorn

        And all he had to do was stay in his car and stop beeing a weirdo who fantasizes about being Officer Johson going after Black Dynamite and playing it out in real life with unwilling participants

      • Dave says:

        I can’t see any advantage in a post-trial civil immunity hearing (assuming that it was possible). In that, GZ would have to prove his innocence to Judge Nelson by preponderance of evidence. If sued for wrongful death by Trayvon’s parents he has to prove his innocence to a jury by preponderance of evidence, which might be marginally less difficult.

      • Malisha says:

        Acquittal does not equal immunity from civil liability.

        Remember the OJ case? Criminal trial said NOT GUILTY; subsequent civil trial said RESPONSIBLE for the deaths.

        These are two separate kinds of proceedings altogether, separate jurisdictions in court, separate procedural and substantive law. The ONLY way to avoid civil liability is by invoking SYG and I hope that is tested soon in a constitutional test case because dismissal of criminal charges should NEVER be constitutionally equivalent to immunity from civil liability. That’s logically and constitutionally unsound. Think: If I am not responsible, criminally, for beating you up, but I put out your eye and knock out your tooth, when it can be proven in a court of law that I did so intentionally and with the hope of hurting you as much as possible, shall I be immune from having to compensate you for what I did? Just because of some loophole in the criminal law? It’s ridiculous.

      • KA says:

        I agree with everyone, it seems absolutely crazy that O’Mara and his PR firm are saying that in interviews and no one is calling him on it.

        He said “George wants a jury of his peers” and then he says “they will seek civil immunity afterwards if needed”

        What the heck? The notion is completely unchallenged by media and their “experts” and the supporters gobble it up.

      • Malisha says:

        That’s stupid gobbledygook. They don’t preserve ANYTHING by not having a SYG hearing. THey just save themselves a lot of humiliation. So they’re making up stories just as Fogen did when he had completed a murder on a rainy evening.

    • Jun says:

      I saw a GZ supporter state that if GZ is convicted, he would get a gang of people to burn down and mess up Florida

      • And I’ve also heard them that if fogen isn’t convicted then the Blacks will riot and burn down Florida…….

        Why can’t people just get along?

      • Jun says:

        They’re mistaken, they will litigate him until the sun stops burning

      • Malisha says:

        I’m not sure his “gang” is ready to go the distance for him any more. Most of them are running to catch up, trying to make ends meet, and sick and tired of hearing about Fogen.

    • racerrodig says:

      Not a one of them has a clue. The law is clearly written. If he waives his Immunity hearing there is no going back. Once it gets to trial and he looses, hello Bubba.

    • ay2za says:

      Now that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it. I think the ‘head-LIE-ning’ by the defense, is a desperate act to poison the jury pool against Witness 8, whether the ‘lie’ can be brought to light at trial, they can’t unring the bell they are ringing loud and clear. If they get jurors who remember this, they can give less weight to Witness 8’s testimony. Witness 8 is innocent and had nothing to do with the events that night, but has feelings of guilt, she was talking to her good friend and could do nothing. Fogen was there, did the stalking and killing, and admits on national tv, that he had no regrets, wouldn’t change a thing.

      So what if she said her age was 16 or she had to make an excuse for whatever reason– maybe she had to seek some counselling from a pastor, or a doctor, or a close friend and is a private or shy person. So what.

      • ay2z says:

        (strange, wordpress altered my nickname to include a typo, posting to see if it self-corrects)

      • racerrodig says:

        Economy of words …”So what” Exactly. She wasn’t under oath and it wasn’t testimony.

      • KA says:

        She didn’t lie about her age. Crump said that he was incorrect in his thought. Her age was redacted from the first copy of the deposition recording and then the 2nd copy had it in there. She answered 18. Crump made a mistake. She is in high school. Thinking she was 16 is normal for her grade.

      • Jun says:

        Well, Fogensmackers is a liar too

        So if we are to say witness 8 is a liar

        who in the scenarios has more importance to be believed?

        LOL

        Do the math

      • Dave says:

        A lady should NEVER be expected to honestly reveal her age. Misrepresenting it is the traditional and socially acceptable substitute for “It’s none of your damned business!”.

      • KA says:

        Actually I read (somewhere) that lying about an age is not concerned perjury unless it is material to the case such as age related benefits or claims.

        Not that she lied, but wow…even in worse case, it doesn’t matter.

      • Malisha says:

        DeeDee might have had to repeat some grades in school and that might have made her feel shy about her age, compared to her classmates. She knew Trayvon from kindergarten, but we don’t know which of them was in kindergarten when she met him.

        • manberk says:

          @Malisha GP. Is it possible because of her comment re: kindergarten there was an assumption made of her & TM being the same age? Did she ever state her age? I didnt see that.

      • KA says:

        I think I remember she did and it was redacted in the deposition. I think that is why the defense made a fuss because they heard something different from Crump. Crump admitted he made a mistake on her age, not that she lied. I suspect she was in high school and not a senior and he made the assumption of a “minor”. .

      • Malisha says:

        At a hearing on the witnesses giving their social media stuff and their addresses, etc., BDLR said that the DEFENSE had no evidence that DeeDee was under 18 — and the DEFENSE carried on and hollered about THAT! I think it’s hilarious that they’re obsessing about that now. “Oh she’s 18? Then it was not murder. Anybody who has a friend over 18 is fair game in February in Florida. If they’re Pba-lack, that is. But I’m not racist.”

    • lurker says:

      I think that one key difference between this case and the OJ case is that OJ had money. While I can see a reason to pursue civil litigation should the criminal trial not arrive at a finding of guilty, I’m not certain that I see much point in suing an imprisoned man who is broke (unless contributions to his website pick up considerably). I don’t know about the liabilities of the HOA–seems like there was something awhile back having to do with their insurance denying a claim by the Martins.

      • KA says:

        I would. The man can obviously gain large sums of money in a short amount of time via “supporters”.

        Shellie still has to live. While he is in jail, the supporters will be sending in money like crazy to “help the poor soul out”.

      • Malisha says:

        He would be one of a half dozen defendants, at least two of which have DEEP DEEP POCKETS.

      • Malisha says:

        Their insurance is free to decline liability. That doesn’t mean the HOA will win and be out of the lawsuit free; it means they lose their homes rather than having their insurance pay out for them.

      • towerflower says:

        If I remember correctly, the insurance company was asking that it be dropped since they only recently became the HOA’s insurance company and did not represent the HOA during 2-26-12. It may have been a matter of not suing the correct company.

        • Xena says:

          @towerflower.

          If I remember correctly, the insurance company was asking that it be dropped since they only recently became the HOA’s insurance company and did not represent the HOA during 2-26-12.

          The HOA gave Sybrina a claim form for Traveler’s insurance which Sybrina filled-out and submitted. Traveler’s then filed in court for a Declaratory Judgment for the court to decide whether Traveler’s would need to represent the HOA on the claim. That in fact, the HOA was named as the first defendant. That case has been dismissed.

    • That idea is absolutely false. There is no question about that.

    • ay2z says:

      If an SYG immunity is allowed and denied, will this mean that the decision will also apply to any civil suit as well? MOM talked about fighting for civil immunity later. Read some views that say the judge’s decision of SYG in the criminal case, would be considered res judicata (decision made) for SYG civil immunity.

  40. Jun says:

    I think Don West is going to end up with egg on his face when he actually takes witness 8’s deposition

    My theory is that she does not want to give up her medical records

    Hence the state saying “there will be no medical records to obtain” because she put it on seal and it is private

    And then that will be the end of that LMAO

    • KittySP says:

      *clapping* @Jun, my sentiments exactly… I posted previously I feel the State baited them saying they’ll be no records to obtain…defense fell hook, line, and sinker.

      It’s about to be on and pop’n!

  41. Jun says:

    Personally, I think it is a good idea that the prosecution does not go media whoring because a lot of what Omara has said or Fogenbonez said, can be used against them now in a court of law

  42. Jun says:

    What I am curious about is what Omara is allowed to submit at the trial?

    I know Baez made some huge claim that Casey was molested at trial

    What is Omara allowed to do? What can he say in regards to self defense?

    I just know he cant submit Fogenhats’ claims in, that is about it

    • Bill Taylor says:

      i cant see any possible valid defense against the physical evidence…….fogens own words claim he had “control” over martin when he fired the shot, pinning martins wrist while aiming and firing(a physical IMpossibility i know)…….that admission alone means he was NOT under any threat of imminent death at the moment he fired.

      from another angle IF martin had control then fogen could not have shot him……again showing fogens whole story is BS.

      • leander22 says:

        pinning martins wrist while aiming and firing(a physical IMpossibility i know)

        And Trayvon calmly left his other hand on his nose, where Fogen claims it was, and waited to be shot?

    • Malisha says:

      What a lawyer says is argument; what a witness testifies to is testamentary evidence, and it is subject to cross-examination.

    • Malisha says:

      Since Casey Anthony’s father was not on trial when Baez did that parlor trick (and by the way I do believe what he said was probably true, for many reasons not having to do with the trial), the truth or falseness of the claim had little or nothing to do with guilt or innocence. Remember NOBODY knew who had actually had killed that baby. What I think the revelation (true or false) had to do with the way the trial went was this: It made it look quite possible that there were LOTS of bad actors involved with the scenario. Lots of liars; lots of bad family members; lots of untrustworthy people with plenty to hide. Thus, it was no longer a case of “who else would have done it if not the mother?” It was then a case of “Couldn’t any of them have done it?” That equals reasonable doubt.

      • KA says:

        I agree. That trial (which I did not watch closely admittedly) was so convoluted with family and death theories as well as a murky tie of anyone to the killing (One mistake: I think the prosecution relied too much on the observed car smell). I do not believe (as unpopular as it was) the jury could have ruled any other way as much as it sickened my heart to read the verdict.

        People who tie together the two cases (or even OJS) are delusional. This is night and day different.Clear ties and evidence to the killer and the way it was done. Second by second narrative from the events of the night presented by the prosecution. Plausible assumptions and logical conclusions for the “missing” moments. No defendant on the stand to counter the story. I assume the defense can change their mind and bring in Zimmerman on the stand at the last moment (especially if Z insists because he wants to “correct the lies”…) but his own story to evidence seems to preclude self defense and he will be boiled in oil on the stand with the impeachment evidence on the cross.

        Yeah, I am really trying to see a opportunity for success for the defense, but I just really don’t.

  43. You all have thoughtful comments says:

    Seems as if gz has led his life with a heavy dependency on gimmicks and legal technicalities.

  44. As I take a step back and see what has occurred so far, I see another barrier prohibiting O’Mara from even requesting an immunity hearing to be enveloped within the jury trial. Judge Nelson set a firm timeline. When asked to alter that timeline by the defense team, Judge Nelson denied the request. The timeline included a June 10 beginning of the trial process with a requirement of six weeks prior for any desired immunity hearing. Wouldn’t that be a tremendous disrespect to her honor for him to take it upon himself to force the court’s hand at an extension for an immunity hearing?

  45. Trained Observer says:

    “… that defense counsel would even consider combining the immunity hearing with the trial. Either they are incompetent or simply using this idea as a smokescreen to conceal that they know they have no case. …” — Frederick Leatherman

    Professor, why not be generous and credit them with both? Incompetence topped by willingness to use a smokescreen approach to rake in more dough all the while knowing their client is cooked.

  46. bettykath says:

    “The defendant has to give up his right to remain silent to have a shot at immunity, but if he testifies, he risks not only losing the motion for immunity, he also risks being convicted by the jury, if the jury does not believe him.”

    I don’t see that the immunity hearing forces the defendant to do anything. MOM has said that he believes the case for self-defense can be made w/o the defendant taking the stand. This suggests that the defendant still has the option of testifying or not. I don’t see the evidence available to the defense making the case for self-defense, but maybe I don’t see what MOM does.

    • BK said,

      MOM has said that he believes the case for self-defense can be made w/o the defendant taking the stand.

      If that were true, he could have had his immunity hearing months ago and his client would be a free man.

      • Rachael says:

        Oh no no no, don’tcha know:

        “George wants a jury of his peers to decide the case,” O’Mara said. “It’s going to be, I think, a more accepted result for everyone who has to result that he gets an acquittal at trial even more so than immunity hearing by a judge.”

        Ummhummm. Right.

      • Jun says:

        I was arguing the same thing long ago because, let us say I am a lawyer, or the defendant, the first thing I would want to do is just get the hearing over with and get my immunity, because preponderance is not a high standard of evidence and then it is over and done with

      • bettykath says:

        “he could have had his immunity hearing months ago and his client would be a free man.”

        good point. more smoke.

      • towerflower says:

        I agree, for months now MOM has been saying nothing but saying how strong their SYG and then self-defense case was. He was on HLN being interviewed about the Arias trial and self-defense when he said that their case was so strong that he doesn’t even need to put fogen on the stand.

        I can’t understand if it was sooooo strong then why not get it over with.

      • So true. Makes perfect since… I think Mark O’Mara is bluffing.. He has a problematic defendant… GZ needs to admit what he did and save the tax payers money. Clearly something is mentally wrong with GZ. It appears he suffers from a severe eating disorder (lack of self control). Will each side want a mental evaluation?

      • Rachael says:

        @ Towerflower, when he says that GZ’s defense is so strong he doesn’t even need to put him on the stand, yet says, “George wants a jury of his peers to decide the case,” O’Mara said. “It’s going to be, I think, a more accepted result for everyone who has to result that he gets an acquittal at trial even more so than immunity hearing by a judge.”

        He:

        1) Knows he has not only no strong defense but really no defense and

        2) He is blaming the public that HE has already tried his client in front of.

        Of course it could be the fact that GZ himself won’t accept a conviction unless it comes from an actual jury instead of a judge, but of course even then we know he won’t accept that either.

        Sigh.

    • aussiekay says:

      Bettykath says “.. MOM has said that he believes the case for self-defense can be made w/o the defendant taking the stand…”

      Yes, it could — as long as the prosecution has not already given their case.

      If they can just produce 1 or 2 witnesses to say he was underneath and getting his head bashed on grass concrete, and the photos shown……maybe a few experts like Knox .. and nothing yet from the prosecution about timelines and his million versions……. then a sucker judge might believe it was self-defence.

      Once the prosecution has put the actual facts out there…. too late. He’d need to take the stand.

      They’ll be trying to win during cross-examination, by trying to cast doubt on every word the prosecution says. Then the judge will rule there’s enough evidence that he does have a case to answer, then they can produce their own experts to try and further demolish the prosecution evidence, without GZ taking the stand.

      But by then I’d not be surprised if there have been outbursts from George that further weaken his case.

      • Zhickel says:

        Seems to me that Knox is touting himself to be hired as an expert witness for the defence. Hope that goes well for him.

      • kimmi says:

        HA! I think you are onto someting there Zhickel.
        Let’s see how the “Cardboard and BS” works out for GZ too

  47. Xena says:

    When O’Mara first announced that he was representing GZ, I looked at his litigation history. Strangely, I cannot now find on the internet what I found then. Anyway, of the several criminal cases where O’Mara was defense attorney, his credit was in the sentencing phase. He either got life sentences rather than the death penalty, or reduced sentences rather than life.

    By this time, after seeing the evidence and deposing witnesses, O’Mara knows or has good reason to know that GZ is guilty of 2nd degree murder. The combining of immunity with trial might be a way that O’Mara is using to save himself time knowing the result will be the same for GZ — guilty as charged.

    • Rachael says:

      That’s how I see it.

      • racerrodig says:

        Same here…..or trying to set Fogen up to agree to a plea.

      • Jun says:

        I heard West is a pleading begging guy too

        “Please dont kill my client, or give him death penalty, how about life?”

        His hospital Deedee theory not likely to work out in court LMAO

        Next is… the 16 – 18 switch up

        big drama, lots of laughs, lots of verbal eggs being dropped

        • Xena says:

          @Jun

          I heard West is a pleading begging guy too

          “Please dont kill my client, or give him death penalty, how about life?”

          Right, that is what I heard about West also. So GZ is represented by two attorneys whose track record is getting reduced sentences — not acquittals.

          • Come on, son.

            The vast majority of death penalty cases are not about winning or losing the trial; they are about living or dying.

            The Anthony case is one of very few exceptions.

            Most prosecutors do not seek the death penalty unless they are convinced that they can prove the case and get a death sentence. Texas is a big exception because the legal system there seems to take peculiar delight in killing innocent people. The governor certainly has no qualms about it.

            With very few exceptions, all death penalty lawyers I know, including myself obviously, believe that saving the client’s life is a win, even if the client is convicted (by guilty plea or verdict) and sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

            I believe this even though I tried hundreds of cases and won about 80% of my trials, so I am definitely not a sign ’em up and plead ’em lawyer.

            I do not know enough about MOM and West to form a general opinion about their willingness to try cases. I do not believe this is a triable case, but they seem willing to try it.

            I object to their tactical decisions, such as playing the race card, demonizing Trayvon and DD, and trying the case in the court of public opinion instead of a courtroom.

            Their written submissions are not much to write home about either and MOM has dropped the ball several times. The most egregious example resulted in publicizing the cousin’s statement about the defendant sexually molesting her for many years starting when she was 6 and he was 8.

            That screw-up was inexcusable.

    • Judy75201 says:

      Not just saving time, but money.

  48. Tzar says:

    ah let’s cut the horsepuckey
    what the bleep would O’Mara present as evidence at an immunity hearing?
    -MMA yet not so MMA John?
    -His awesome picture?
    -The complete lack of defensive wounds on either party?
    -The complete lack of blood or dna on the hands of the victim?
    -The 40lbs+ pound advantage of his pinned former bouncer and unable to escape client from the 40lbs disadvantaged victim battle naive victim?
    -The timeline that does not match his client’s story?
    -Something to obviate the killer’s testimony that he had Trayvon in a wrist lock?
    -The videos that show that the killer never parked in front of the clubhouse as he claims?
    -the GPS data that prosecution was just plain too giddy to hand over too him in open court?
    what? what is he going to present in an immunity hearing?
    what would he know to do with an immunity hearing?

    • Strange about the defensive wounds, I have wondered if the small cut to Trayvon’s above-the-knuckle might be one.

      • Tzar says:

        oh yeah that could be one…but quite unimpressive for a battle to the death

      • Malisha says:

        I fail to see how the SIDE of his fourth finger could get a small laceration while the rest of his hand, and the other hand, were utterly untouched, unless the conflict in which he was defending or attacking was FENCING with a very thin fencing sword. It does not compute. He got a scratch somehow and it had nothing to do with a fight to the death in any way, shape or form.

        • IIRC, the scrape is on the dorsal or back side of the ring finger, but he was not wearing a ring.

        • I misunderstood. I thought the small wounds was to the back of the finger, and that the small cut may have happened because Trayvon put his hand up to defend himself from something.

          I never did think it was a fight to the death, just thought Trayvon held his hand up as a shield at some point.

      • ChrisNY~Laurie says:

        Maybe Serino was thinking that the abrasion on Trayvon’s hand was from Fogen’s gun. He did ask Fogen if the could have hit Trayvon.

      • onlyiamunitron says:

        “Strange about the defensive wounds, I have wondered if the small cut to Trayvon’s above-the-knuckle might be one.”

        The autopsy does not say cut, it says abrasion.

        If it were an actual cut they would not have used the term “abrasion”.

        The autopsy offers no indication of how it might have been acquired.

        unitron

        • “The autopsy offers no indication of how it might have been acquired.”

          And no indication if it were a fresh (fighting with fogen)…..or an older injury that had nothing to do with fogen.

          I take it you’ve never had an injury to your hand….cut / abrasion or whatever, entirely of you own doing with no outside help?

        • Thank you, I have not looked at the autopsy report in a long time, so thanks for clarifying.

      • xy11xy says:

        Tray had his own blood/DNA under his right hand nails. He might have been scratching an itchy spot, maybe? Maybe an insect bite; a rash?

    • Jun says:

      did you not hear?

      Apparently Deedee was under oath, and will not turn over her hospital records to be obtained, and the state said there will be no records to obtain, in regards to the fact that she felt ill and had to go to the hospital or somewhere

      so they will impeach her on ambiguous and moot information

      That is their magnum bullet

      • Two sides to a story says:

        Yes, some actually believe the state has no case without witness 8. Looks like they’ll be sorely disappointed.

      • Jun says:

        The funny thing is West used triple hearsay to come to his conclusion and he was asked to go to the direct source for the information

        All the state said was “there will be no medical records to obtain”
        when the defense asked for the medical records

        It also does not even fall under admission by a party opponent rule and is actually hearsay so they can not even use it against her at all LMAO

      • Tzar says:

        nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      • Malisha says:

        DeeDee is not the prosecution’s star witness. Trayvon Martin’s body is the State’s star witness. The State’s second most important witness is Fogen’s big mouth. All the other witnesses are what I call “window dressing.”

      • lurker says:

        Be funny if it turned out she’s a Christian Scientist and went to a church healer.

      • ay2z says:

        Remember LLMPapa’s video “Investigator Dale Gilbreath’s Powerful Response”?

        LLMPapa points out the three things listed by Investigator Gilbreath and no so-called ‘star’ witness testimony is part of that top list of evidence.

      • Malisha says:

        It won’t matter at all.
        Remember, Serino wanted to charge Fogen with Murder-2 long before he ever heard of DeeDee. Her information only enhances, but is not necessary or sufficient, for conviction. It enhances conviction and maybe sentencing because it is obvious that Fogen put Trayvon into fear for quite a while before killing him.

      • xy11xy says:

        So much of this seems to be about dispensing with witnesses….beginning with George getting rid of the most credible witness of all: Trayvon.

        That Trayvon may have been witness to a crime – which he could only be while alive – suggests that that initial crime was not the killing. The initial crime was detaining the boy, and likely brandishing a gun.

        So there are 2 crimes here – the second one(the shooting), done to resolve the first one(the detaining etc).

        That’s nuts, you say? Who would kill someone to cover up a less severe crime? George would, that’s who.

        That boy would have sung like a bird, had he lived.

        Then along comes DeeDee.

        How will they get rid of this witness?

    • racerrodig says:

      Maybe the most obvious…..Fogen said “..it was me or him…and God wanted ME to survive..”

      • Trained Observer says:

        Despair over that could be why the Pope quit poping. (Oh, apologies already, since that was no doubt in poor taste.)

      • The 2 things I think will do him in the most in front of a jury all come from hannity…..

        “Gods plan”

        &

        “No I wouldn’t have done anything different”

      • Yup. The old no-regrets God Plan.

        (sounds like an insurance policy)

      • Rachael says:

        The “The old no-regrets God Plan” was what did it for me. Not that I believed it was self-defense before that, but I knew for sure it wasn’t after.

      • leander22 says:

        (Oh, apologies already, since that was no doubt in poor taste.)

        TM, I am both Catholic (with a strong skeptic tendency) and German. I am also not a fan of Ratzinger, never was, but I found that comment quite funny and pretty innocent compared to what I read about him. Little hint: Once the generations born in the late 20ties have died they will need to find infants that already were ardent supporters of the Nazis.

      • Malisha says:

        The thing that confuses me is this. If God wanted Fogen to survive, great, but why wouldn’t God also want all the evil people who are now persecuting Fogen and his wife to see the light and become good people and stop all that terrible unwarranted abuse? Shouldn’t God be inspiring us all to lay down our swords and grab up some plowshares instead and go plow Fogen’s — uh, wait a minute. WHERE do we go get those plowshares? I NEED MINE RIGHT NOW!

    • Trained Observer says:

      Yes, indeed, but this insurance policy lapsed a long time ago. Official notification will come after June 10.

      • lurker says:

        One smart thing he managed was to call off Terry Jones, that crazy Florida preacher who was primed to start some protests in Z’s defense.

        • manberk says:

          @Lurker Terry Freaking Jones. Another indication Fogen isnt a racist. LOL.

          He actually did have rallies in Fogens defense. In fact when Fogen launched his begsite one of the pics was from a Terry Jones rally. And the other pic was from a hate crime committed at Ohio State Univ. I wonder who his target audience from day 1 was?

          George Zimmerman Launches Website For PayPal Donations and Supporters

          Major outlets have confirmed that George Zimmerman has published his own site in order to raise money for his living expenses and his legal defense. The site also contains images of photos taken at Ohio State’s Black Cultural Center and a rally held by Rev. Terry Jones, known for his Koran-burning acts. Here are screen grabs of Zimmerman’s site:

          http://www.latinorebels.com/2012/04/10/george-zimmerman-launches-website-for-paypal-donations-and-supporters/

        • manberk says:

          Also makes me wonder if that phone call with Jones was scripted BTW.

      • KA says:

        Especially the “one punched knocked him down” theory…I love that one.

        The way GZ supporters get around this problematic issue is to say that Trayvon was 6’3….

        They think that evens the whole discrepancy thing out…

      • leander22 says:

        Strictly his infamous “Burke quote” contradicts God’s plan. Or did God call him and tell him Trayvon was looking suspicious?

        Second screenshot in black. If he published the images you allude to I surely hope the pictures were saved.

        Lurker, personally I wouldn’t like to pray with somebody like Jones.

    • Cercando Luce says:

      207 (gz’s 2/27/12 weight) minus 158 (Trayvon’s 2/26/12 weight)= 49 lbs.

      49 lbs. over 158 lbs. is about one-third of Trayvon’s weight = the amount by which Fogen outweighed him. I sure hope there’s a wrestler on the jury.

  49. Rachael says:

    When you say: “you can bet that he will claim that he was forced to waive the presumption of innocence and his right to remain silent in order to exercise his statutory right to an immunity hearing and that his lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel in violation of his Sixth Amendment right to counsel by waiving his right to a pretrial immunity hearing.

    I believe that the case will be reversed and remanded for a new trial, if the scenario that I have described takes place.”

    Could that be the strategy, strange as it may seem? I mean if they know they have no case, it keeps GZ out of prison longer.

    It kinda effs up O’Mara’s name, but it’s effed up now anyway and not winning the case maybe isn’t the same as losing it.

    I don’t know, just thinking out my fingers.

    • I think he is just blowing smoke knowing that he cannot risk an immunity hearing this close to trial without irreparably damaging his chances of success in the trial.

    • ladystclaire says:

      @Rachael, just thinking out my fingers, LOL! I hope this is not the ploy that you mentioned. some people think that the victim and his family have no rights at all. I think it’s obvious to Judge Nelson that Sylvester does not know what he is doing and, he should be pulled from this case along with the senior citizen dude. they are making a mockery out of this country’s justice system as well as this kid’s life and death.

      This needs to stop and, Judge Nelson is the only one who can put a stop to these two and, she should do just that!

    • leander22 says:

      I like: just thinking out of my fingers.

      good coinage, happens to me sometimes. But concerning effed up O’Mara, he may want to cash in, in that scenario. Just in case you are working on a screen play. Would add some shady players in the background. 😉

      ladystclaire, concerning Debra Nelson, from what I have seen from her so far, I have the highest respect for her. Let’s wait an see for the necessary, if I understood her correctly, for the necessary motion.

      But who are Sylvester and the senior citizen dude?

  50. Judy75201 says:

    Oh the games lawyers play *coughreasonabledoubtcough*.

  51. Thank you for this post, Professor.

  52. Follow

    Prof……Any chance they could load him up with other charges…..carrying concealed without a permit….or a host of other firearms violations?

    If he hadn’t broken that law….then there would have been no “self defense” murder.

    • Trained Observer says:

      How about reckless discharge of a firearm on common grounds of a condominium?

    • Rachael says:

      Has it actually been determined that his permit was not valid? If that is the case…

    • I think they are too close to trial to add any charges because that might require a continuance.

      • Federal firearms charges maybe?

        Also….are the Feds going after him after the trial?

        • If the defendant is convicted of murder 2, I do not think the feds will prosecute him for a hate crime or any other federal offenses that he might have committed.

          There would not be much point in a federal prosecution since he will be sentenced to at least 25 years in prison and probably life in prison.

          I am hoping the feds go after the SPD for civil rights violations, but I have no faith in Eric Holder.

      • Dave says:

        mountainmanpat,

        What Federal firearms charges are you thinking of? I haven’t seen any evidence of his having obtained the gun illegally. Am I missing something?

        • Dave…Good morning from the Rockies….

          I have seen no evidence of fogen ever owning a firearm…

          It was shellies gun used in the murder….the cops have it in custody.

          Yet I’ve NEVER heard of fogen having to surrender a weapon. Did he have one?

          shellie had her CCW revoked….I’ve NEVER seen anywhere that fogen had to surrender his…….did he have a legit one?

          IIRC the only one to mention fogen buying that POS Kel tec is oysterman.

          And remember oysterman LOANED fogen a pistol prior to his arrest.

          Why would fogen need to borrow a weapon if he had one of his own?

      • Dave says:

        mountainmanpat,

        Florida law, as I understand it, does not require handguns to be registered nor does it require transfers between private parties to be recorded. Shellie could have legally given, sold, lent or rented the gun to her husband (or any other Florida resident not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun) at any time without informing the police or any other government agency.

        Since Shellie is GZ’s wife, the gun might be considered community property.

        Regarding a second gun, didn’t one of the witnesses ask the killer whether he had shot Trayvon the 9mm or the .40? This implies that the Z’s owned a second pistol.

        I’m sorry, Pat. I don’t see an issue here.

        • Dave…

          ” This implies that the Z’s owned a second pistol.”

          HE DID NOT own the one used in the murder…..so where’s the
          “second pistol” HE owned?….or the first one HE owned for that matter?

      • Dave says:

        mountainmanpat,

        None of us know how many guns GZ owned. He might have had a whole closet full of them (all legally acquired–including the murder weapon that Shellie MAY have given or sold to him) for all you or I know.

      • NEF05 says:

        @MMP –
        I’m not sure exactly what info you’re looking for. Illegal possession of firearms, or simply possession of firearms, after Trayvon’s murder. If it’s simple possession, I’ve gotsomething for you here:

        “A gun-shop owner said Zimmerman came in weeks after the Feb. 26 shooting and said “his life was in danger and he needs more guns.”

        He got at least one more: The day of his arrest April 11, FDLE agents found in his rental car a “cop killer” handgun, a Belgian-made semiautomatic pistol, capable of firing bullets at such high velocity that they can pierce body armor. He also had three magazines of ammunition.”

        http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-07-12/news/os-george-zimmerman-evidence-release-20120712_1_trayvon-martin-neighborhood-watch-volunteer-george-zimmerman

        Hope that gives you a starting point, at least! 🙂 Body Armor piercing and three magazines. Did he think he was landing on the beach at Normandy?

      • Dave says:

        Hi NEF05!

        That article typifies the shoddy sort of reporting we’ve come to expect from the Orlando Sentinel. The “cop-killer handgun” in question is a puny little .25ACP (6.35mm) FN Browning popgun that fires a cartridge that is about as powerful as a .22LR. Armor-piercing? Ha! Mark Osterman claims that he lent it to the killer and wants it back.

        • A .25 cal. is what jodie arias used to kill Travis….prior to the stabbings and throat slitting…….ME’s report said the gunshot would have been instantly fatal.

          I’ll stick to shooting my black powder front stuffers 🙂

          • racerrodig says:

            I have an old .25 semi auto (POS !) and I’ll bet I can hurt someone more by throwing rocks at them. A .22 LR does more damage I’d bet.

          • Never been a fan of .25’s in any shape for or fashion……

            Then we have to consider the .32 Walther that we both have good reviews of……’Cept for a Bear…..a .32 would just piss it off….

          • racerrodig says:

            The .25 was given to me many years ago. Yep….I’d say I’d need to go through all 4 of my magazines on a bear with my Walther…….
            ….and hope my son can reload them fast !!

          • Xena says:

            When I purchased a .25 the Chief of Police told me I could unload it on the idiot stalker and he could still walk from the west side of Chicago to Lake Michigan before falling dead. He told me to get a .45.

          • Personal & up close I’d take a .380….the equivalent of a 9MM short

          • Xena says:

            You and my son have likes for the 9MM in common.

            The only thing now that I want to shoot are snakes, but then I have a spade that will do the job without splashing blood all over the place. 🙂

          • Don’t have any snakes up this high….

            Personally I have no desire to kill anything…….You’ve seen pics of my place…..Deer wandering around daily.

            I may get a blackpowder Deer tag this year….meat in the fridge………I may also pick up a Bear tag…..if we have the same probs we did last summer and fall….Just one black Boar causing probs all up and down the mountain….Had a Cinnamon and her cub would pass through often….never a problem

            Ask YAHTC about me being up for my Bear watches…..broke into one shed 4 times last fall……tried the front door too…..

          • Xena says:

            We have our share of critters but no bears. Coyotes are about the most dangerous and they usually run when a human comes around. There’s a wild life guy that sprays my property the beginning of Spring to keep the snakes out. Maybe when he comes next month it will get the rabbits out from under my deck too. I don’t mind, but my dog does.

          • racerrodig says:

            I hate snakes too

            See…………. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL3ZIc5IL2w

          • Xena says:

            @racerrodig. If it’s a video of snakes, I don’t want to see it. LOL!! I’m okay with large constrictor snakes, but not the ugly, slimy garner snakes and corn snakes that we have here.

          • racerrodig says:

            It’s a comical line from Indiana Jones….

          • Xena says:

            @racerrodig. Ahhh. Indiana Jones hated snakes. 🙂

          • FACT……Over 70% of snake bites in the US occur to the hands and arms…….

            OBSERVATION……..IF you wouldn’t have tried to grab the snake you probably wouldn’t have been bit……

            Stupid is as stupid does

          • Xena says:

            @MMPat. Garner snakes have fangs in the back of their mouths and are not poisonous to humans. They’re just ugly, slimy things that I don’t want in my backyard.

          • racerrodig says:

            About 4 years ago, my son and I uncovered the pool and left the cover bunched up behind the pool against the woods. The next day we went to pull it out and wash it down to fold it and just as I pulled on it a snake about 6 foot long went right between us and into the woods.

            I don’t know what kind other than one of the ones on my “I hate snakes” list.

          • racerrodig says:

            He would be pretty accurate on that one.

      • Nef05 says:

        @Dave – Hi! How’s it going? I’ll be the first to admit I’m not even a novice of guns, but when MMP said he couldn’t even remember one in fogen’s possession,it jumped in my head. I thought it might be a starting point to be helpful. I’ve only ever shot in self-defense with a pearl-handled .32 owlhead; so I don’t think I’d be much help. (FYI – Legal, self-defense, Castle Doctrine)

    • towerflower says:

      He had a permit on him, in his wallet. From the things in his background that have been released, it appears that it is a valid permit. By law, if you carry you must have that license on you when you do.

      • racerrodig says:

        For a fact, he left his wallet home. SheLie brought it to the police station.

      • aussiekay says:

        Where did you get that, Racer? first I’ve heard Shellie brought in his wallet.

        He showed the permit to Singleton, who was the first to interview him, and I think that was before Shellie turned up.

        Anyway, even if he did not have it on his person, to charge him with that is really “throwing the book at him” and petty in the extreme. Petty, overkill and good “proof” for the nutters that he’s being railroaded. I even think Federal charges would be overkill in the same way.

        The guy killed an innocent kid. Don’t let anyone make a martyr out of him by throwing silly charges at him that would not be thrown at anyone else. He doesn’t deserve the attention and has already wasted more than enough LE time and taxpayer money.

        • racerrodig says:

          He did not have his wallet on him. SheLie brought it to him at the police station. He had no money, no credit cards and no wallet on his to go grocery shopping.

          Right, and I’m 9 feet tall and the greatest basketball player that ever lived…..

      • lurker says:

        I had also not heard that he didn’t have his wallet on him. Unless he left it in the vehicle, wouldn’t that blow a hole in the story of going to Target to buy groceries?

      • Cercando Luce says:

        “Going to Target to buy groceries” is tantamount to “Hiking the Appalachian Trail,” really.

      • Rachael says:

        Here is the problem with hearing things. I have heard that his permit *may* not be valid because he did not complete the course and got his money back, however, the guy who did the transaction didn’t remember it and his files only go back 2 years as he disposes of everything after that or something. So anyway, if he did not take the course, is his permit valid, and if if he shot a kid with an invalid permit, well, that is not a good thing. But I don’t know what we really know here.

      • Rachael says:

        Oh, and race, I think I remember hearing at some point that he did not have his wallet on him either and there was a lot of joking about how he was going to go shopping without it. But I don’t know if that was verified, I just kinda remember hearing something about that too.

      • towerflower says:

        racer, I could only find reference to Shellie bringing in clothes. But if he did not have the license on him because he left his wallet at home, that would have been a violation.

      • KA says:

        I thought it was left in his car. Shellie is the one to move the car.

      • NEF05 says:

        And, I read that Ofc. Smith demanded a ccw on the scene, since fogen claimed one. Now that I know it isnt in Ofc. Smith’ report, I want to know why is wasn’t. Just how long does it take to check the CCW/CPL license of a man found standing over the deceased, with a smoking gun? Is this not the FIRST thing you check, after securing the defendent and his gun?

        More interest on Ofc Smith.But I suspect it will come out through the fed investigation, but it is interesting, as several persons here have connected the same dots!

        “Amid all the controversy, there’s one topic I haven’t yet heard much talk about: Officer Timothy Smith’s police report. If it had been properly written, much of this controversy could have been avoided—at least that’s what I thought when this story first broke. Now, as more information becomes available, I’m beginning to think that the problematic police report might have been an early sign that something else was seriously wrong.

        By now everyone is familiar with the basic facts about the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, became suspicious about a 17-year-old black youth who was walking in a gated community. Minutes later, Zimmerman shot and killed Martin. Police, citing Florida’s “stand your ground” law, did not make arrest. According to a statement from Police Chief Bill Lee, that decision “was supported by physical evidence and testimony.”

        Because of my background (I’ve taught basic standards and advanced report writing classes and written an instructional book), I noticed the words “physical evidence” immediately. As every recruit knows, you have to be specific when you write a report. I always instructed students to write down exactly what they saw: “cuts,” “bruises,” “swollen,” “discolored,” and so on. Generalizations (“she was hurt”) and conclusions (“his arm seemed to be broken”) were forbidden. I often called on childhood memories of Joe Friday and the Dragnet TV show: “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

        When I read Timothy Smith’s police report (he was the first officer at the Trayvon Martin scene), my immediate reaction was that Smith’s supervisor should have returned it with a request for more details. Here is Smith’s account of the “physical evidence” in the case: “…I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and back of his head.”

        “Bleeding from the nose” could mean all kinds of things. A scratch? A nosebleed? A broken nose? And “bleeding from the back of his head”—was there a cut? How long? How wide? Officers often use phrases like “about the size of my little finger” or “a large cut on top of his head,” but there’s nothing like that here.

        Was Zimmerman moaning? Did he have his head back to stop the nosebleed, or did he pinch his nostrils, or was he wiping away blood?

        Was there grass in the head wound?”

        http://lawenforcementtoday.com/tag/george-zimmerman/

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